SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 16, 2004–Are you hurtin’
for hockey? Tired of the ongoing bickering between players and owners
putting you on ice? Then it’s time to move on to great games where
hockey players compete more for the love of the sport. Devoted fans
can skate around North America to find hockey-crazed rinks for a fix,
according to Amy Ziff, editor-at-large for Travelocity(R).
“It’s not time to turn to figure skating just yet,” says Ziff.
“There’s great hard-hitting action and we can send you to some of the
Following are Ziff’s suggestions on some great hockey options this
-- The Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League: Based in picturesque Manchester, New Hampshire, this is one of the winningest teams this season in professional hockey. The Monarchs are a farm team that holds the key prospects for the Los Angeles Kings, including an incredible goalie in Mathieu Garon. -- The Boston College Eagles, Division I. U.S. College Hockey: The Eagles are a perennial powerhouse and have a history of producing professional talent including New Jersey Devil Brian Gionta. Based on the edge of Beantown, there's a lot of busy skating going on. -- The Michigan Wolverines, Division I. U.S. College Hockey: About one hour outside of Detroit, they have a nasty way of winning hockey games. The Wolverines are another dynasty team in Division I. College with professional hockey vets including John Madden to their credit. -- The Seattle Thunderbirds, Western Hockey League: Seattle has one of the top teams in Junior A hockey. In fact, they're tops in the Western Division, the league where professional hockey drafts most of its talent. -- The State of Minnesota, Period: Known as 'The State of Hockey,' the sport ranks tops in popularity here. Both college and high school hockey are huge in Minnesota. And, the XCEL Energy Centre in St. Paul is the converging point for some of the biggest face-offs this year with the Red Baron WCHA Final Five (Division I. tournament), the Schwan Cup high school holiday tournament and the State Hockey Tournament. -- The Hamilton Bulldogs, American Hockey League: You can always count on the Canadians, or Les Canadiens, for hockey. Montreal's farm team is located in Canada's Steeltown, 45 minutes from Toronto and one hour from Buffalo, N.Y. The Bulldogs are known for tearing up the ice and have young pro player Jason Ward in the lineup. -- The Saskatoon Blades, Western Hockey League: Meet the hockey-fanatic fans of the Junior A Blades, where hockey is the sport in town for rabid fans of the game. Welcome to the land of hard-hitting hockey and a team with a great history of grads gone pro to back it up. -- The Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League: This is the Junior A club of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky where he wore that renowned No. 99 that has since been retired from professional hockey. The Hounds is one of the storied franchises in junior hockey, and this Northern Ontario city is known for its raucous crowd. -- The Quebec Ramparts, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League: The home team to hockey legends Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy plays in one of the classic old rinks in North America, Le Colisee (now called the Pepsi Coliseum). This Junior A team is based in Quebec City, one of the old cities in North America and one with a distinct European feel. The hockey here resembles the fluid, skill-oriented European game.
According to Ziff, there’s no need to deny yourself of some
gripping hockey this season just because your favorite professional
team is out of commission — there’s lots of great hockey to enjoy.
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