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Student Reporters Recount October 15 Preds Game vs. Chicago Blackhawks

by Staff Writer / Nashville Predators

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 This program was developed to provide high school journalism students an in-depth look into the world of professional sports journalism.

This month students Rob Edwards and Hoke Smith from Montgomery Bell Academy attended the Predators Oct. 15 game vs. the Chicago Blackhawaks.

Student reporters go behind the stage with the Predators
By Rob Edwards

Thursday, October 15, my friend Hoke Smith and I attended the Predators vs. Blackhawks game as student reporters representing our school, Montgomery Bell Academy. It was extremely exciting, and we basically spent the evening as the professional press would, with a few extra perks thrown in.

We started off the night with a chicken parmesan dinner in the Media Room, eating alongside press, announcers, and trainers for the Predators. It was in that room where the pre- and post-game conferences were to be held, and it was very interesting to see.

We then got a very thorough tour of the normally off-limits portions of the Sommet Center. Ms. Gina Maduri, the Community Relations Coordinator for the Predators, who was responsible for our being able to attend the game, was our guide. As we walked past the home locker room, we saw all of the players out in the hallway, joking around and warming up with a game of soccer.

We then visited the “rehearsal room”, a huge room at the corner of the Sommet Center that is almost big enough to fit a hockey rink into. This room is where Nashville-based artists come to rehearse before tours, and at that moment the Chicago Blackhawks were doing their own warmups there.

We then walked farther down the hall past the visiting locker room, several dressing rooms used by artists who perform there, and even storage rooms which hold various items used in all the competitions between the periods of the game. All over the wall in that hallway were framed pieces of paper signed by every artist or band to ever play at the Sommet Center, and it was cool to see so many famous signatures in one place.

After walking past the editing room for the TV broadcasts and the room where the zambonis are kept, we arrived at the gate that leads out onto center ice. We walked up right to the glass, and it was incredible to look up from the ice and see the entire arena, which was totally empty at the time because it was still quite early in the evening. Next we traveled up to the press box at the top of the Sommet Center and were shown to our spots at a long desk, next to several other reporters.

After the game, which was a fantastic showing by the Predators as reported in my colleague Hoke's article, Ms. Maduri took us down to the executive offices and showed us some of the projects that the Predators team has been working on. It was really interesting to see just how much it takes to manage an NHL franchise, and I had never realized how many opportunities there are to be a part of everything.

It was also really exciting to get to see firsthand the work that the press does at the games, and it seems like a job that would be a lot of work, but also very interesting as well. Everyone that we talked to there seemed to enjoy his job, and it made me think that I might one day want to go into a field of business similar to that of Ms. Maduri and her associates.

I am extremely grateful both to Ms. Maduri and the Nashville Predators for allowing me to participate in such an exciting night.

Predators game night offers more than just a game
By Hoke Smith

On Thursday, October 15, Rob Edwards and I went to the Predators game versus the Chicago Blackhawks. We met up with Ms. Maduri, the Preds representative who handles publicity and press matters, and she gave us a tour of the stadium.

We started out in the media room where we ate a delicious meal of chicken and pasta. Afterwards, we walked past the Predators’ locker room where outside the players were doing their pre-game warm up, kicking a soccer ball. We also walked by the Chicago Blackhawks who were doing the same thing but they were in the rehearsal room; a room that is almost big enough to put another hockey rink, but it’s mainly used for bands to practice and even shoot music videos.

Near this humongous room there were some plastic cases where bands that played at the auditorium would sign their names. We saw names from such big bands as Kiss and Backstreet Boys. After this, we saw the where the zambonis are parked and also walked out near the ice. Ms. Maduri then took us to the press box, which was very high up.

Then it was time for the game. The Predators at the time were ranked 14th in the Western Conference and 26th in the League. However, Chicago was favored in this game because they were ranked 2nd in the Western Conference and 4th in the League. Before the game, Steve Sullivan was recognized with the Masterson Award. This award was given to him for his perseverance after having missed 142 games due to an injury. He joined the lineup again on January 10, 2009.

After the pre-game pump up for the fans, which would excite even the dullest fan, the game started. No goals were scored but the Predators had 5 shots and the Blackhawks had 12 shots. During the intermission, there was a tricycle race on the ice and Chad McWilliams played some country music and some Stevie Wonder. The second period had the most scoring. Chicago scored 2 goals, but the Preds’ Martin Erat scored a goal.

The next intermission had a game that was called the bungee bounce. This was HILARIOUS! Two guys were attached by a bungee rope and tried to get four balls in a bin. The third period didn’t go in the Predators’ favor because the Blackhawks scored again leaving the final score at 3-1.

Although the Predators lost, I still had a lot of fun! Every second during the entire evening something exciting was going on. Not only do you enjoy the fast-paced activity of the game, but there is just as much excitement during the intermissions and in the atmosphere surrounding the game. What a great way to spend an evening!

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