This was my first Canalta Experience. The lineup in the front of the building was massive, so I headed to the back for a lineup that was half the size and fast moving.
I think it was a poor decision to not let people in until 50ish minutes before game-time, it led to massive lineups in front of the building. I don't expect this place to sell-out continuously, therefore lineups will be shorter, but with sellouts in winter and cold temperatures, these lines will need to shorten and I'd highly suggest opening the doors earlier to help alleviate that. I think with more experience under their belt the staff will also be able to move people quicker as well.
I arrived 45 minutes early and the parking lot was jam packed. I did my pre-scouting and had a good spot that allowed a quick exit so I'm not going to give out my secret:P but I"ll give you a hint that the back way had virtually no lineup to get out and was likely faster heading to the #1 and avoiding the mass of cars going down the box springs road.
I was absolutely blown away. The rink has a professional feel. The clashing of sticks and pucks even sounded like an NHL arena. The sound perhaps could have been a half notch louder, but not having the exact same songs play that the old arena had, was refreshing.
The glass along the boards had a lot of give compared to the old arena so hopefully that will reduce some injuries. The open floor concept was neat. The arena was brightly lit, and had an NHL calibre jumbotron. Replays after highlight reel plays. A video tribute to Bob Ridley, Kisscam, the works. Shaw was broadcasting the event, so I wonder if "The works" and replays will still be there on non televised days.
I think in the first intermission virtually everyone was out to explore. It was very difficult to move around. People standing in the middle. No real flow. Concessions had long lineups, it was difficult to maneuver past the 50-50 booths. The 2nd floor was neat, you could look down on the hoards of people struggling to get past each other on the main concourse.
The second intermission had a little better flow, but I guess one can expect the lineups to be longer when 6000 people are in this building. The official attendance was 5947. 1941 more fans than the 4006 old arena could hold. It will be interesting to see if the new Arena consistently breaks the 4006 mark.
The Tigers roared out the gate. Scoring 4 goals when the game was only 10 minutes old, they cemented the win before the seats were even warm. Max Gerlach scored the first goal with a beautiful setup from Butcher and Schultz on the powerplay.
After those 4 goals I'd give the edge in terms of gameplay to the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes shut the Tigers down in the second period changing up their forecheck. The Tigers appeared to be sleeping and just playing with the lead. In the third the Tigers adapted and had more scoring chances, but the canes managed to pot a couple goals late to make things interesting.
It was hard to concentrate on the hockey with the new building. Their powerplay was real good with the cross crease pass connecting twice. They had some troubles in the second period with the 2 man forecheck the canes pressed on them. What did you think of the new arena?
Up Next: The Tigers take a 2 game road trip to Saskatoon and Prince Albert. They are back in town Oct 6 (next tuesday) when Kelowna Visits.