After months of sticky summer weather, sports fans can finally retreat from the sweltering heat of baseball diamonds. Once autumn begins, hockey fans bundle up with a beer in the ice-cold air of CenturyLink Arena for another Idaho Steelheads hockey season.
This year marks the 16th season for Boise's AA hockey team, promising 36 home games, including visits from arch rivals the Alaska Aces.
The season opener takes place in Boise Friday, Oct. 12, when the Steelheads battle it out with the Utah Grizzlies from West Valley City. Fans will fill the arena while athletes pass the puck, start brawls and chase that perfect shot into the opponent's goal.
Capitalizing on its efforts in the National Conference semifinals in Alaska last season, the Steelheads hope to come out strong in 2012. Coaching staff have added three new forwards, including Ron "The Cowboy" Meyers, Taylor McReynolds and Andrew Wright.
In anticipation of the opening game, crews put the finishing touches on the rink--including painting the Steelheads logo onto the ice--on Sept. 12. Too bad that within minutes of the first game, players will carve up the well-polishing rink as they race to score against their opponents.
Though tickets went on sale Oct. 1 at 10 a.m., the ticket office reports plenty are still available for the first home game. If you can't make the opener, a full schedule of home and away games can be found on the CenturyLink Arena or Idaho Steelheads websites.
Friday, Oct. 13, the Steelheads head to Utah to take on the grizzlies on their own frozen turf.