I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve written a piece for all of you that isn’t a press release or something of that nature. I thought I’d take some time to let you in on what life this season looks like! Last season you may remember that I was in California doing the Fearless in the Fog project with the ECHL San Francisco Bulls and Ontario Reign. Throughout the course of that project I got to know players from the NHL on down due to the lockout and made some pretty incredible friends along the way. As some of you may know, I left California in June and moved home to Minnesota after finishing ten years in the US Navy. I spent my summer in Canada and Europe, giving myself a long awaited summer vacation I never had after high school! I came home to prep for hockey season and oh what a season it’s been so far! I wanted to give you all a look into what an average week looks like for me now that I am the content editor for Gongshow Gear Hockey as well as the Northland beat reporter for MinnesotaHockeyMag.com! I feel like the first week of hockey season was pretty exciting so I’ll just start there!
Thursday September 19, 2013:
It’s NCHC Media day in Minneapolis/St.Paul, Minnesota at Target Center. I live about two hours away and have a bit of a drive to get down to cover the first ever National Collegiate Hockey Conference media day. My work with Minnesota Hockey Magazine includes covering the UMD Bulldogs men’s and women’s teams and today marks the unofficial start of college puck. On my drive down South from Duluth I am caught in what is probably one of the worst thunder storms I’ve ever driven in and almost abandon the trip. After waiting out hail and high winds, I finally arrive at Target Center and sit down to talk to some of the best athletes and coaches in college puck. I interview Captain’s from St. Cloud State, Colorado College and Miami U (Austin Czarnick, who happens to be on everyone’s radar for the Hobey Baker this season). I sit down with UND’s head coach as well as UMD’s Coach Scott Sandelin. The conversations are interesting and everyone seems confident that the newly formed NCHC will be a success and tough competition.
I head downstairs for the commissioners state of the league address where I am formally introduced to the commissioner himself, Josh Fenton. Josh is well-spoken and confident in his conference, he also interviews beautifully! I get to meet the son of the legendary Herb Brooks, Dan, who shares stories of his late father with me. I must admit, it was incredible meeting the son of someone I have always looked up to and was truly honored to meet Dan Brooks, a gentleman and incredible person. I post some information on the NCHC for Minnesota Hockey Magazine and am on my way home before night falls.
Monday September 23, 2013:
It’s charity golf classic day for Minnesota Hockey Magazine! I make the three hour drive from Duluth to Pheasant Hills golf course with my mother of all people for a day of golf with the staff at Minnesota Hockey. I’m not a great golfer, but I try! At one point during the day I text an NHL friend of mine asking if this is the part of the day where I throw my clubs in the pond due to my poor showing on the course. His response, besides laughing at me, is “Yes. Absolutely.” Glad to know he’s confident that I’ll never be an awesome golfer. Not all of us have three months every summer to perfect our game haha! Regardless, I get to sit and chat with Neal Broten for awhile and yet again find myself speaking with a childhood idol. Neal was part of the 1980 US Olympic Miracle on Ice and is by far one of the nicest men I have met.
Wednesday September 25, 2013:
Time to start this year’s project, or as I like to call it, attempt to not look like an idiot in the Wild’s dressing room. Yes, it’s NHL preseason and it’s my first game as a credentialed member of the Wild media. I drive down to Xcel Energy Center and take a deep breath before walking into the Al Shaver press box. I am no stranger to a hockey press box, but this feels different, it’s my home state and the home team and I feel like the pressure is on. I am quickly at ease as I see familiar faces from various other press events and one of the few (and by few I mean on most night there are two maybe three of us) other women who cover the Wild offers to show me around the rink and help me navigate the underbelly of the X. Emilie quickly becomes one of my favorite faces to see during Wild games, primarily because we share similar frustrations as we watch games and understand there is a time to be quiet and a time to comment on the game. Regardless, we take our seats high above the rink, pull out our laptops and it’s game time.
Three periods of action fly by and before I know it we are headed downstairs in a packed elevator to get our post game interviews. We pack into a crowded Minnesota Wild dressing room where the young Charlie Coyle is the main focus of the night, a kid who is proving to everyone he is exactly where he is supposed to be. Let me tell you something about NHL dressing rooms, they are hot, sweaty, smelly and on some nights you can’t get out of there fast enough. Often things are rushed and we try to keep interviews short, we’re all on deadline and let’s be honest, a player who just exerted maximum energy for an entire game is ready to get home and get rest, not talk to media. Also, on rare occasion that there is a ton of media, dodging stepping on the logo is like playing lava as a kid, and skipping over large patches of carpet is nearly impossible…I pretty much fell into the logo the other night, and was chirped horribly for it, some nights you just can’t live down and believe me, I will forever feel bad. I should have opted to get shoved into the trash can as was my original path, it would have been easier to live down.
Regardless, we chat up a number of players before heading to Coach Yeo’s press conference, a nightly game ritual that I quickly come to appreciate for multiple reasons. The press corps banters and jokes around and coach is always open and honest when answering our questions. To end the night we head back up to the press box where each journalist once again takes their seat. We type until well after the lights have come down on the rink. I sit and take in the arena, empty of everyone except us and listen to what it has to say. It’s going to be a good year here at the X, I can feel it.
Friday September 27, 2013/ Saturday September 28, 2013:
You’ll have to wait and see what I got into for this weekend! I’ll write another installment soon on what happened over the last weekend in September as well as the events leading up to the real opening night at Xcel Energy Center against the LA Kings!
You never know what I’ll be up to or who I’ll run into Gongers so follow me on twitter @AmySnow17 for daily updates on what’s going on in my crazy hockey life! Make sure you follow us on @gongshowgear as well for all of our latest products, events and blogs!
Also, want to get to know me from someone else’s perspective? My local paper interviewed me recently, you can check out that story by clicking HERE!