This article has been edited to correct a small detail, and was originally published on Oct. 29, 2017.
Professional sports are not extinct in Boise. Wednesday nights, during the regular season, the home of the Steelheads comes alive at CenturyLink Arena with the sounds of hockey, fans and $2 beers.
The Idaho Steelheads are a minor league hockey team who play at the CenturyLink Arena located on 8th Street in Downtown Boise. The Steelheads are the affiliate team for the Dallas Stars and members of the ECHL, a professional national AA hockey league.
After their arrival to the league in the 2003-04 season, the Steelheads have won three western conference titles and two separate Kelly Cups—AA hockey’s version of the Stanley Cup, which is awarded to the play-off champion of the ECHL.
On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Steelheads hosted the Utah Grizzlies for the first game of the series.
The Steelheads’ games attract hockey fans from all corners of the sport. Sharks, Kings and Avalanche fans blend into the crowd, but that doesn’t mean they are not rooting for the Steelheads.
When Idaho scores a goal, the arena ignites. The buzzer sounds, the lights flash and the fans’ cheers echo across the ice.
Freshmen Cameron Friedel and Payton Perry enjoyed themselves during the game on Wednesday night.
“We saw the BSU Hockey Club play here and wanted to see what a Steelheads’ game was like,” Friedel said.
With tickets as low as $18, it is an affordable night out for students on a budget.
Freshman Trent Latam went to the game on a family night out and recommends it to students looking for something to do during the week.
“It’s a fun thing to do on Wednesday nights, and if you’re over 21, the beer deal is an added bonus,” Latam said.
Due to hockey’s fast-paced gameplay, there is constant action on the ice. One of the biggest draws to hockey for some fans is the fighting that can break out between players. When the gloves come off and the fists start flying, the crowd goes wild. Music starts playing and fans yell for every Idaho punch thrown. Utah punches were met with boos, and ultimately the refs eventually broke up the players before any major injuries are caused.
The Grizzlies played a rough game, and there was a lot of tension between the teams when the puck was stopped. Wednesday night’s game featured two fights on the ice.
The Steelheads held their early lead against the Grizzlies and ended the night with a 3-1 victory, taking the first game in the series.
Idaho fell to Utah at home Friday, Oct. 20, and again on the road Saturday, Oct. 21, losing the series 1-2 to Utah. Idaho went on the road again this weekend and lost both games to the Quad City Mallards in Illinois on Oct. 28 and 29, bringing their season standings to 2-2-3. The Steelheads will be home again on Wednesday, Nov. 1, for the start of a three-game home series against the Colorado Eagles.