Hello again, Pens fans - Daniel here to keep you up to date on all the latest Ice Crew happenings. With this season just about underway, we’re concentrating our efforts on getting in shape for the long year ahead. Last practice, Marianne Watkins, a Power Skating coach based out of the RMU Island Sports Center, joined us on the ice to teach us new power move techniques to help us improve our overall speed. We also went through a lot of work on our edges, and by the end of the hour long practice, we had all built up a sweat usually reserved for games. Needless to say, we cannot wait for Marianne to join us at the rink again. Ms. Watkins has worked with pros and amateurs alike and is known throughout hockey as being a pioneer in the field of power skating.
We also got news from our coach, Laura, letting us know we’d be introducing two new intermission games this year. This season, we will be introducing the Foam Finger race during the first intermission. In this event, four Penguins fans will don large foam finger costumes and engage in a foot race around the ice trying to maintain their upright position while they navigate different obstacles. After they’ve finished their circuit, they’ll need to shoot a puck into an empty net. Should be exciting to see how these races play out. And last but not least, an oldie but a goody from the days of the Civic Arena, this year, the Ice Crew will bring back Musical Chairs! Four contestants will be selected prior to game time and be escorted to the ice to participate in an up-tempo brand of this fan favorite. All of us on the Ice Crew are really excited to bring these new games to you all season long.
With the first pre-season game only a day away, the Ice Crew is ready to go. We have our new uniforms and our new equipment arrived as well. Thanks to our equipment sponsor, Reebok, we’ve all received our new skates and bags in plenty of time for the season to begin. Anyone who’s worn ice skates before knows they need to be broken in. With such a limited time frame, most of us, if not all, will be taking our skates to local pro shops to get them “baked”. For those of you who don’t know, when hockey skates are new, they need to be broken in, like a baseball glove. So most hockey pro shops can place new skates in a special oven designed solely for baking skates, not cookies. Once the skates are warm enough, you put them on, lace them up, and wait as the warm leather cools around your feet to form a perfect mold. This makes the skates feel like you’ve worn them before and not as if they just came right out of the box.
Until next time, Pens fans, enjoy the changing season as that autumn chill creeps back through our city’s streets. Training camp is underway and the Red Wings come to town this Wednesday to meet our Penguins in their first pre-season game of the year. Time to get excited - hockey season is about to get underway!