The region is glad that the Pens are back in action
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Well, it's hockey time again in Western Pennsylvania, and it seems like this year's lockout has actually fired up the local fan base. This fact was made evident by seeing the loads of fans show up for the Jan. 16 scrimmage at the Consol Energy Center and the buzz felt throughout Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas.
Hockey as a sport has grown for a lot of reasons including its intensity, the violence, and the fact that, for the most part, hockey players outside of the sport seem to be decent human beings. You don't hear about hockey players in the same vein that you hear about football and basketball players in terms of getting in trouble with the law.
After a second consecutive disappointing Steelers season, it was really going to be a long off-season without the Pens this year. Finally, at the last moment, a deal was reached and the players were going to be back on the ice. The excitement has been tremendous.
One of the reasons is, from Pittsburgh to Johnstown to Indiana, hockey has really picked up momentum as one of the more popular youth sports. It's definitely a commitment on the part of the entire family because of the large expense and the weekend trips for tournaments, but for those who enjoy it, it's a love affair.
The shortened season seems to actually benefit the Pens, whose success depends on their young nucleus of stars staying healthy. It's great to see our heroes back on the ice, and the first win against the Flyers was an awesome game with an exciting finish. Let's hope the Vegas oddsmakers are right, and this is our year to again hoist Lord Stanley!
First Published January 27, 2013 12:00 am