Oswego and My Love of Hockey

OS_HockeyJust over a year ago, I was not a hockey fan. I had absolutely no interest in the sport and, quite honestly, had no knowledge about it.  I was primarily a fan of football and auto racing and I had no intentions to expand my horizons.

Oswego changed that.

It all began last year when I visited and toured college campuses in the spring and summer months. Oswego was on my list of potential schools, but I needed to check out the campus before considering anything further. Visiting Oswego made all the difference in the world.

The campus tour was terrific and made me fall in love with the school right away. Leaving the tour, I knew Oswego was going to be my choice. The highlight of my tour was most certainly the ice hockey arena. The place looked amazing to me – it still does. It looks professional and quite honestly, it looks like a big deal.

I could instantly picture myself sitting in the stands – maybe even in the Steve Levy Press Box – enjoying the thrills of a college hockey game. I knew from that moment that I needed to get myself to an Oswego State Lakers game.

After the visit, I began to follow hockey more closely. Once the NHL season finally started after a frustrating lockout, I was able to watch hockey on a frequent basis. Thanks to the many hours of NHL coverage on TV and an online NHL rulebook, I was able to learn the basics. I would not consider myself an expert by any means, but I have learned quite a bit in the recent months, especially how to enjoy the sport.

For my high school senior class trip, I went to New York City where I saw my first NHL game in person. The game took place in Madison Square Garden, where the New York Rangers played against the Toronto Maple Leafs. For those keeping score, the Rangers won the game.

Getting to watch any professional sport in person is amazing, but this was even more exciting as a new fan of hockey. The visit was something I will never forget.

Last weekend, I was finally able to attend a game here on campus, checking that off of my Oswego bucket list. I attended both the men’s game against Fredonia on Friday and the game against Buffalo on Saturday. While one night was better than the other for the Lakers, both nights were extremely enjoyable for me.

The energy in the arena was incredible, something I was thrilled to be a part of. The excitement displayed by everyone, especially those in the student section, was amazing. People were shouting and chanting, showing our team support, and maybe even rooting against the opposing team now and then. The energy of the crowd was just as exciting as the game itself.

After attending my first two games here, I cannot wait for another home game to come around.

I cannot believe how quickly I have fallen in love with hockey. Thanks, Oswego.


About the Author

Travis Barend is a first year student at SUNY Oswego majoring in Public Relations. In addition to his studies, Travis is a member of PRSSA and is a student blogger for SUNY Oswego's website. Travis enjoys writing about NASCAR racing in his spare time. He has spent the recent years writing for various websites, including Speedwaymedia.com, a website a part of NASCAR's citizen journalist media corps. He also contributes a weekly news column for NASCARTheGame.com, the official website of the NASCAR video game series. Travis also has his own blog, TracksideChatter.com, where he also posts racing content. You can follow Travis on Twitter @TracksideTravis, but be warned. He tweets about NASCAR. A lot.
Email: tbarend@oswego.edu
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