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Student Reporters Recount Oct. 23 Preds Games vs. Calgary Flames

Monday, 10.27.2008 / 5:15 PM CT / Community
Nashville Predators
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Student Reporters Recount Oct. 23 Preds Games vs. Calgary Flames
Each month the Nashville Predators host students from local high schools to participate in the Student Reporter program. This experience gives students the opportunity to be a part of the press during a Predators home game. Students partake in a pre game media meal, sit in the press box during the game, and attend the post game press conference with Head Coach Barry Trotz. After the game the students each submit an article to be posted on NashvillePredators.com This program was developed to provide high school journalism students an in-depth look into the world of professional sports journalism.

This month students Alex Apple and Kyle Brantley from Montgomery Bell Academy attended the Predators Oct. 23 game vs. the Calgary Flames.

A Sensational Sport Provides a Phenomenal Night at the Sommet
by Kyle Brantley

There isn’t another place in the state of Tennessee where so much intensity, emotion, and passion can be found than at the Sommet Center on the night of a Predators’ game. The experience for a fan at a Preds game is unbeatable.

More than any other sport, hockey games bring out the difference between watching a game on TV or watching a game in person. The action is so fast-paced that even the camera man struggles to keep up with the puck. But, if one is at the game, the plays unfold right before one’s eyes. Hockey games are the perfect environment to unleash the pent-up frustration and struggles of a long day at school or work. Fans incessantly taunt the other team and are constantly coming up with clever chants and traditions.

You really bond with your fellow fan. Even being total strangers, the spectators unite together for a greater cause: that of the team. When a rebound attempt glances off the post, thousands of people moan “awwwww”, all at once. When two shots are scored within a span of nineteen seconds, which was the case at the game I attended, shouts of joy resound throughout the center. Such jubilation and anguish are experienced with those that you will maybe only see once in your life; but, these are the moments that one remembers for a lifetime. And this pure and spontaneous exhilaration can not be felt through the distance of TV.
The majority of my fondest memories are ones where I was at a sporting event. Sure, I’ve seen greater plays and comebacks on T.V., but to actually see it and experience the bedlam that ensues is worth much more than the price of entrance.

Hockey is a sport with which many Southerners might not be very familiar, but all one has to do is attend one game to catch on to the rules. Hockey is an incredibly fast-paced and physical game. One hundred-mile-per-hour slap shots pummel the back of the net and a helpless victim is smashed against the boards…all in a night’s game. Players are never afraid to drop the gloves and duke it out to settle disputes

One has to realize, though, these athletes are physical phenoms. Not only do they have incredible hand-eye coordination, enabling them to shoot and pass without a moment’s hesitation, they have to glide upon the ice on skates to chase down the opponent. If anyone has ever tried to skate, you know it’s not the easiest task in the world. Imagine having to completely change directions in less than a second or having to fight someone on the ice! It’s simply unbelievable.

One of the greatest facets of the game experience is the entertainment. The Predators organization goes to great lengths to make sure the fan is never bored during intermissions or breaks in play. The Predators’ “Dancers and Goal Girls” redefine the word attractive and get the crowd pumped up. The Jumbotron over the center of the ice has five different types of display screens; the chances of a fan being shown on the monstrous screen are basically 1 in 5.7. The Predators show clips from movies and shows, with subject matter ranging from the likes of John Wayne to Michael Scott from The Office.

Furthermore, the Predators put together hilarious skits with their ever entertaining mascot Gnash. At the game I attended, the Preds faced off against the Calgary Flames. So, in one of the clips, Gnash teamed up with the Goodlettsville Fire Department to hose down some Flames fans. Also, in the middle of the game, Gnash with a fire extinguisher put out a campfire that a Flames fan was dancing around.

Most importantly, music is all around. Being right next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the expectations for music are pretty high; but, again, the Predators organization comes through in the clutch. During intermissions a band plays on the stage in the arena, always reminding the fans that Nashville is Music City.

The Predators Experience is unlike any other Nashville has to offer. Those who have not been blessed with the opportunity to attend a game should sprint downtown as quickly as possible and get on the walkways of the Sommet Center leading to the ice.
The Predators Experience Is Memorable
by Alex Apple

Everyone who thinks that he or she is not a fan of hockey must attend a Nashville Predators game to see the game of hockey in person.

I had the unforgettable experience of spending the evening at the Sommet Center as a student reporter at a home game against the Calgary Flames. There was an excellent pre-game meal for members of the media, which we luckily were asked to share, and then the very personable and attentive staff directed us to the press box where we watched the game.

The game was action-packed from beginning to end. The pre-game festivities surrounding and during the time when the players skated out were very exciting, and the level of excitement went up from there as the game progressed. The predators scored 2 goals in 19 seconds, which was the fourth fastest in team history, and there were several 5 on 3 power plays. Every time the home team scores a goal, a loud horn blares, and Tim McGraw’s song “I Like It, I Love It” is played on the Jumbotron, and the fans go crazy. The fans are very involved in the game, and all the fans seem to breathe and to exclaim at the same time. It is really unusual for a sporting event to see everyone in the audience so in sync. The brand new HD jumbotron is fabulous.

At each intermission, a band played, and there were several funny videos on the Jumbotron, as well as clips from movies, like Rocky, and television shows, like The Office. The best thing about the actual game is that the action is non-stop, so it is not like baseball or football, where there are pauses in the actions. The Predators also offer quite a few special nights, like “college night”, etc.

The staff at the game was very kind, and after the game we attended Barry Trotz’ post-game press conference, afterward touring the team’s offices. The Sommet Center is a remarkable venue, and I wish every young person in Nashville could attend a Predators game. “It stays with you.”





1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33