Halloween Hockey

Trip Start Oct 18, 2012
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Flag of Germany  , Baden-Württemberg,
Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Howdy folks,

I went back to school today after a 5 day weekend, which isn't really the best thing for being productive. On the other hand, I've been coughing for the last 5 days, so I guess it can't hurt either! My German is coming along more slowly than I like, its hard to speak anything other than the basics so most conversation is still out of my understanding. After school, Steffie picked me up and we went to do a bit of shopping before hanging out at the house until the game.

We left at 4:45pm to drive 15 minutes to the SAP Arena in Mannheim. Then we had to wait an additional hour for the gates to open and the game didn't start until 7:30pm! Apparently the reasoning for the forementioned madness is such. You need to get at the start of the line for the gate to open to get to a good position at the supporters standing area behind the goals so that you can stand until the game begins! I don't understanding it, but we weren't the only ones doing it so they must be mad as well; Paula is one of those nuts.

This is my first ice hockey game since January when we drove from Banff to Edmonton and there are a number of differences between National Hockey League and the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. Die Adler Mannheim are the only league team in this area out of 14 teams and the stadium, which holds 13,600 people, is one of the biggest in the country. Compare that to the NHL which has 30 teams and the Edmonton arena can hold 3000 more people and has a really old arena. Nevertheless, die Adler Mannheim have a strong fanbase and tonight there were 9000 people: probably most of them in the fan area!

The opponents were the Duesseldorfer EG who are second from bottom, whereas the Adler are second. The competition wasn't going to be there, but the fans were crazy anyway. They reminded me more of soccer hooligans with drums, chants and banners. A stark contrast to Edmonton where you could here the puck being hit from the rafters. After 3 periods and 2 fights, the final score was 6:1 which the home team was more than happy with.
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