We attended a local hockey game this past Monday with Spectrum, our county's autism support group. We got a group rate that included a hot dog and coke, so we decided to go for it! It is minor-league hockey, a team called the Gladiators. I knew Austin was anxious to go, but I wasn't sure what the girls would think of it.
It ended up being SO much fun and it was a really great game. I know very little about hockey besides the fact that they are trying to get the puck into the opposing team's net. But that was OK! We just watched and cheered and had a great time. I was surprised at how rough the sport of hockey is! They were slamming each other into the walls, and there was a full-on fist fight at one point!
Everyone did very well. There was only one difficult time between the 2nd and 3rd periods. The team has a game where you can purchase soft pucks to throw onto the ice from your seat, and if you get it on the circle, you win a gift card to Kroger grocery store. So it was LOUD while that was going on. And then the mascot was coming around shooting rolled-up tshirts into the seats, and it was LOUD for that. It was probably 10 minutes of nonstop LOUD and Reece just couldn't take it anymore. She was sobbing that she wanted to go home. I took her into the lobby to walk around a minute, bought a few soft pretzels for all of the kids and a bottled water to share, and that was enough to get us through the rest of the game. If we go again, I will know to take her into the lobby as soon as the 2nd period ends!
The end of the game was extremely exciting: we were down 0-2, but came back and scored 2 points at the very end to tie. We played an overtime with no score, and then there was a shoot-out, which we won. It was all very exciting! I had forgotten my camera and bought a disposable camera... but the pictures are terrible. I'm sorry I don't have anything to upload and share! It was so much fun, and I hope we can go back one day!
The girls came home and set up a pretend hockey game in our kitchen! Austin claimed he couldn't be a hockey guy AND a baseball guy! LOL I reminded him that my favorite baseball player, Tom Glavine, was drafted by both the Atlanta Braves and a professional hockey team, and he just had to decide which he wanted to play. (Austin replied, "Which one did he choose?" causing me to roll my eyes for about 5 minutes and claim him to be his father's child! LOL)
We were all quite wiped out when we got home, and Reece had a rough day and a half after it was over. But it was worth it! I think she will do better next time, especially if we take her out during that one loud part. She can handle cheering and normal crowd noise, having been going to Braves cames since she was little! But the extended noise was just too much.
Go, Gladiators! :)