From September through March, one of the hottest tickets is for the Victoria Royals ice hockey games.
The Royals play in the B.C. Division of the Western Hockey League (WHL) which consists of teams from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and some cities from the US Pacific Northwest.
Comparable leagues across Canada are the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) which includes teams from Ontario, two from Michigan and one from Pennsylvania and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) which includes teams from the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
Teams that play in the WHL all boast players with real potential to be drafted into the NHL. This means the play is fast, the shots are accurate and the hits are hard. The action is non-stop from whistle to buzzer.
The fans are loud and raucous when the team scores and will most definitely show their displeasure with calls from the referee that they don’t agree with. So even if you’ve never seen a game before, you’ll know how the home team is doing from the crowd reaction.
The fan experience includes more than just watching three 20-minute periods of hockey. During intermissions there are activities on ice, in the stands and in the rotunda surrounding the arena. It may be sponsors throwing swag like t-shirts or ball caps into the stands, on-ice fan competitions or one of my favourites – the chuck-a-puck.
On evenings where the chuck-a-puck promotion is being held, fans purchase foam pucks from the evening’s non-profit group before the second period intermission. Each puck has a number printed on it and the object is for fans to throw their pucks towards targets on the ice during the intermission. The closest to the targets, wins a prize.
Recently my son’s rugby team hosted the chuck-a-puck and it was a such a great evening. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement, we were able to meet some terrific Victoria Royals fans and of course the team mascot Marty the Marmot was there. I just had to get a selfie with him .
Our players were able to sell all their pucks which made it a profitable fund-raiser for us and two lucky fans won some great prizes. What a sight to see hundreds of pucks being thrown onto the ice. Such fun!
The Royals make it easy to enjoy a game with all single game tickets under $30 each. Children’s tickets are between $8 and $16 making it affordable family fun. Check their website for tickets.
Other teams that play in Greater Victoria include the Victoria Grizzlies who are a junior A team and play in the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) and the Victoria Cougars who are a junior B team and they play in the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League (VIJHL).
If you’re in town and want one of the most Canadian experiences ever, then you simply must come out to a hockey game.
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