Is Buffalo Really “Hockey Heaven?”
We first heard the term "Hockey Heaven" when Terry Pegula came to town late last season to take ownership of the Buffalo Sabres. Here we are again with hopes and dreams of a Stanley Cup Championship as another season takes off. There's hockey all around me, which leaves me asking "Is Buffalo really Hockey Heaven?"
We've seen the "Hockey Heaven" t-shirts. Many of us either play or know both kids and adults playing hockey. In fact, we have what I would call six "hockey families" on our street alone. Each one with kids playing, and some with dads either playing and/or coaching too!
My 11-year-old son, Ryan, has been on the ice since he was just three years old. Ry got started in the Saints beginner program and continued on until last season. This year, Ryan is happy to be a member of the Cheektowaga Warriors playing at the Peewee Minor Travel level. He loves every minute of it!
My husband, Jerry, also hits the ice at least once, sometimes twice a week.
Jerry plays for the East End Blackhawks at the Winter Classic Rink in East Aurora. He also fills in on friends' teams occasionally.
We have a lot of friends who play as well. My girlfriend, Annmarie, gave it a shot last season after finding a women's league at a local rink. Another 40-something friend of ours had never played, but a few years ago he hit the ice for the first time and is still playing!
We've seen many young girls are getting into the act too! Ryan has played on teams in the past with some pretty tough young ladies. There are also more all-girls teams than ever before.
We also, of course, have the Sabres! Who could ask for anything more? Hockey is a way of life for so many Buffalo area residents. As far as I'm concerned Detroit can be "Hockey Town." I'd rather live in "Hockey Heaven!"
Now, let's go BUFFALO!