Tonight was so much fun. We loaded up the van and started the night off by going by McDonald's where the kids got Happy Meals. I was very proud of them, because before we left an older gentleman came over and talked about how well behaved they all were.
It was so cool to see how the kids reacted to coming into the hockey ring. Only one of them had ever been to a hockey game before and I'm not sure if the others had any concept of what hockey was like. They were taking it all in, seeing the mascots, the loud music, the crowd. I think they were a bit thunderstruck at first. Then the Thunderbirds opened the scoring and they got to jump up and yell and scream, ring the cow bell... and it was on.
The game was a really close one, with some big hits and several penalties. I must have fielded 20-30 questions about rules and how the game was played, which was great because it told me the kids were interested and enjoying themselves. With 6 seconds left in the third period the score was tied at two when the Thunderbirds put the winning shot in the back of the net. The entire place erupted, the players celebrated and we all fist bumped and high fived . You couldn't have asked for a better first hockey game for several of these kids to see.
We hung out to see who the three stars of the game would be and I got to point out to the kids how many of the Thunderbirds gathered on the ice and prayed following the game. The kids were amped up and very chatty all the way back. Truly was a great night to fellowship and share a game I love with kids!