It didn’t have the world record breaking attendance of “The Big Chill” between Michigan and Michigan State nor did it feature a contest between hockey’s two biggest stars like the 2011 Winter Classic, but the WHL put on an outdoor game of its own tonight. They even attracted an energy drink sponsor, as the event was titled the Rockstar Oudoor Hockey Classic.
Sure, the sold out crowd of 7,075 fans who watched the Spokane Chiefs dominate the Kootenay Ice 11-2 would be a mere drop in the bucket for those aforementioned outdoor games, but if everyone enjoyed it* then why not?
* – People associated with the Kootenay Ice might be the exception judging from the score of that game, though.
The event took place at Spokane’s Avista Stadium, included appearances from former minor league hockey players and featured typical attractions for big events including a fireworks display. Here are some more details.
Former Allan Cup Champions Don Schereza and Dwight Carruthers, who played for the Spokane Jets and Flyers respectivley in the 1970’s, were joined by former Chief Joe Cardarelli at center ice. The pre-game was atmosphere was puncuated by a flyover from the 92 Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base.
Near perfect weather and the scoring output by the home club kept the capacity crowd involved through all 60 minutes. A fireworks spectacular presented by TicketsWest highlighted the post game ceremonies.
Following the game, fans were treated to three different giveaways, a commerative ticket, a poster of the opening ceremonies presented by Washington Trust Bank and The Rypien Foundation, and a coupon for a Chalupa at Taco Bell thanks to Spokane scoring more than five goals.
Nothing says “crowd pleaser” quite like a nine-goal win and some free artery-clogging fast food, right?