The 2019 Armed Forces Hockey Classic

Don’t have much going on over Memorial Weekend? Feel like watching hockey being played for a good cause for FREE?

“The Armed Forces Hockey Classic (AFHC) is a tournament where military veterans the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy come together to compete against one another while raising money for the United Heroes League (UHL). The UHL wants to ensure that all 5 million military kids are able to develop critical life skills through sports. This intense focus on youth development and serving the families of our military service members motivates the UHL to keep programs focused. This focus has inspired 115 professional athletes and over 30 professional sports franchises to lend their name and support to the UHL.”

The Washington Capitals have supported the UHL since their start in 2009 along with many other franchises, like the Minnesota Vikings and the Los Angeles Kings. Players/coaches who have contributed to this cause have been Nicklas Backstrom, Karl Alzner, Bruce Boudreau, Taylor Chorney, Matt Hendricks, Nate Schmidt, and many others!

This event is being held just outside of Dallas, Texas in North Richland Hills. Veterans, local and country-wide, are gathering there to play the greatest sport for an excellent cause. Coordinators have stated that they have received donations and incoming participants from places like Alaska, Colorado and even the DMV! The winning team of the tournament will get to hoist the James “Maggie” Megellas Championship Trophy. Who knows, you may see someone you’ll recognize!

2010 AFHC Champions – Team Navy/Marine Corp.

The tournament will begin May 25 @ 10:00 am EDT, first puck drop @ 10:15 am. All games will be live-streamed via Facebook here. For more information on the AFHC and the UHL, click here. Have a wonderful weekend!

Capitals Gave Fans Some Great Memories

Alright so the 2018/19 season didn’t go the Capitals way, but man did the summer of 2018 and the season of celebration that followed give fans memories that will last a lifetime. The best were those that included fan time with the Stanley Cup! Continue reading “Capitals Gave Fans Some Great Memories”

Capitals End of Season Signals Lots of Changes

The end of the Capitals season signals a time for the management to take a close look at the team and what is needed for next season. We at FiCP are doing this too. We are all looking at what worked, what didn’t, and how to do better next season. We feel inspired! Continue reading “Capitals End of Season Signals Lots of Changes”

Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes

A player’s jersey is probably one of the most noticeable items that they wear, but what happens to those jerseys during the time that they are being worn is generally not well known. Most players wear three sets of their home and road jerseys and two sets of the alternate jersey over the course of a season with a few extra jerseys worn for only one game for special occasions (milestone games, Jerseys off Our Backs, one game jersey auctions and agreements with hockey card companies, which cut them up and insert them into cards). Continue reading “Capitals Player Jerseys – Not Your Ordinary Work Clothes”

Capitals Fan Appreciation Photos

One of the best things about the last game of the regular season is the Capitals celebration of the fans. And the very best part of that is the Jersey Off Their Back – when Caps players literally give a fan the shirt off their back! Continue reading “Capitals Fan Appreciation Photos”

Money Saving Tips at Capital One Arena

Two quick money saving tips at Capital One Arena.

If you use the Capital One Cardholder VIP Entrance on 6th Street, just north of F Street by the Green Turtle (you will need to have and show your Capital One credit or debit card), they usually give everyone with a card a $5.00 concession voucher that can be used at most of the concession stands.

At most of the stands, you can also show your Capital One credit card and receive a 10% discount on your food/drink purchase.  The voucher and credit card discount can be combined.

Behind Section 107 and 108, there is a small designated driver booth, sandwiched between Street Tacos 202 and the Rita’s booth. Sign up that you won’t drink alcohol at the game and they will give you an empty soda cup that you can have filled at the concession stands.

Capitals Season Ticket Holder Memberships – Is It Worth It?

Have you ever wanted to be a Capitals season ticket holder?  Do you want to be at all of the games, especially the ones that everyone will remember ten, twenty, or more years from now? Imagine games like Ovi’s 500th goal, his 600th goal, his 1,000th point.  How about the Banner Raising game, the Stanley Cup Finals games, the outdoor games in 2015 and 2018, and (my personal favorite) Game 6 against Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference Finals to get the Caps back into that series? Continue reading “Capitals Season Ticket Holder Memberships – Is It Worth It?”

Win a Chance to Skate at Capital One Arena

After a Sunday afternoon Capitals game years ago, before I was able to get season tickets, I saw a line of people holding skates and I was immediately jealous.  I asked and found out that it was a private skating session for season ticket holders and their guests.  It was one of the things that I remembered when I finally had the chance to get season tickets.

At that time, I didn’t realize all of the other benefits of being a season ticket holder – the annual meet the team party; the chalk talks with the announcers, NHL officials and referees, and team management; the summer movie nights; and summer skating sessions.

Sunday Skate Opportunity

The final season ticket holder skate for this season will be this Sunday (March 24) following the Capitals-Flyers game and your friends at Friends in Cold Places want you to be able to go as their guest and have the chance to experience this event. We have three passes available for our readers.

If you have ever wanted to go skating at Capital One Arena, here’s your chance and there’s only a few conditions.

  1. You must have a ticket to the Capitals-Flyers game.
  2. You must have and bring your own skates.
  3. You must be willing to sign the liability waiver that the Capitals give to all skaters.
  4. You agree that Friends in Cold Places is not responsible for any injuries that you may suffer from participating. (Sorry, but we had to throw in the legal language).

Here’s how you can win passes:

Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. (EST) tonight (March 22), follow (or be a follower of) FiCP on Twitter, send out a tweet that says “I want to go skating with FiCP” and tag Friends in Cold Places in your tweet.  In your tweet, tell us how many passes you will be able to use. We will randomly pick a winner after 10 p.m. and, if there are passes remaining after the first winner is selected, we will pick additional winners.

Thanks for being a loyal reader and we hope to see your skating skills on display on Sunday.

Friends in (Slightly Further) Places; Prudential Center

Two weeks ago, I attended my very first Capitals’ away game at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. Following my trip, I wrote up a ‘summary review’ of my experiences and the arena itself. The Capitals ultimately won that game, 5-3, and reclaimed their top spot in the Metro division.

Last night, I took a solo road trip to Newark, New Jersey, to watch our reigning Stanley Cup Champions take on the New Jersey Devils. I purchased my ticket about a week ago, and sat in the last row (23) of Section 13 (lower bowl), behind the Caps’ shoot twice goal. I paid just $38 on TickPick (no fees!). Much to my surprise, a friend that I had met through the Linkin Park Underground chatroom was also attending the game, so we finally met up, in person, before the game at the Dinosaur BBQ. From D.C. the drive is just about 3 1/2 hours, without stops. Prudential Center, otherwise loving referred to as ‘The Rock’ by Devils’ fans, is situated in the center of Newark, very similarly to Capital One Arena. There are two main general entrances, as designated by the all-glass rotundas on either end of Lafayette Street.

Pictured: Lafayette Street Entrances

Built in 2007, the arena is just over 10 years old, and is beautiful, inside and out. Boasting the largest jumbotron in the NHL, at any given time, players for both teams would be indicated, and during commercial breaks, they would show scores around the league as well as Vegas betting odds. Possibly related to the nickname of ‘the Rock’, and Bruce Springsteen, the arena DJ mixed almost exclusively rock music. Despite hearing the goal horn just once for the Devils, it was not nearly as deafening as Wells Fargo Center. However, it did command your attention at any time during the game.

Pictured: A View from My Seat (and the JUMBO jumbotron)

There were LOTS of Capitals fans in attendance. While both teams sport red as their primary color, it was very easy to pick out the Caps jerseys.

Refreshingly, the New Jersey fans were gracious and kind. Unlike in Philly, we were not boo’ed at, or thrown the usual “Ovechkin Sucks!” chants while walking through the concourse. In my section, there was no chirping or trash talking to speak of (I’ve actually heard more of that from NJD fans at Capital One when we’ve played the Devils). Well, except for when Tom Wilson existed. Then they would ‘boo’. The Devils’ fans would start and join in on “Lets go Devils!” chants and eagerly participated in commercial break/intermission entertainment, which was nice to see. Despite only having a handful of Caps’ fans surrounding me, when we scored, it was easy to see just how many were in the building. My only complaint was related to when the opposition scores a goal; the goal light was slightly delayed, and from my seat (probably not an issue elsewhere) it was difficult to see when a goal was scored. Any questions I may have had, those around me were more than willing to answer, and converse further. I even got directions to the closest Tim Hortons. Both Devils and Caps fans began to empty out of the arena noticeably sooner than I’ve observed elsewhere, despite the fact there was over half of a period left to be played. When I stated, “There’s still 10 minutes left for you to tie it”, the New Jersey fans around me admitted, “Nah, no way, not with this team,”. At the end of the night, I again shook hands with those in my row and in front of me, and we parted ways.

With losses by the Islanders, the Penguins, the Flyers, and the Blue Jackets, and a 4-1 win over the Devils, the Capitals were able to snag that top spot, once again, in the Metropolitan division. With the win, the Caps closed out the season series against New Jersey, having won 3 of 4.

Although it was just a short day trip to and from Newark, NJ, I intend on returning to Prudential Center in the future. Likely before Wells Fargo Center ($$$). You just cannot beat the ticket prices, the location/ease of access, and the general pleasant nature of the hometown fans.

My ratings for Prudential Center are as follows:

Parking: 10/10 (I reserved my parking ahead of time, and only paid $12 for the evening, but there are a plethora of other lot options, as well as street parking).

Security: 9/10 (much more lenient on what is permitted, such as posters, but they were thorough when searching peoples’ bags. Pro tip: don’t bring them).

Concourses: 9/10 (once entering the arena, you have to go up a set of escalators to reach the main concourse, very well-maintained, not crowded at all during intermissions).

Prices: ?/10 (could not comment).

Sound System: 8/10 (Loud, but not obnoxious, on par with most other venues.)

Jumbotron: 10/10 (Largest in the NHL, didn’t block view of ice, lots of screens for additional information, similar to Wells Fargo, shows who is on the ice at any given time).

Seats: 9/10 (good size, the cup holders were weirdly situated closer to one seat than the other, comfortable.).

Intermission Entertainment: 9/10 (No mites-on-ice, lots of fun mini-games, but a lot going on, unique commercial break fan interactions (i.e. emojicam, air guitar/air drum dance contests, digital skeeball, Ric Flair video montage ‘wooooo’s’)

Hometown Fans: 10/10 (Every single person I interacted with was kind, gracious, and respectful. It didn’t matter what team you were cheering for, both sides respected one another, as well as the players i.e. everyone in the building commented on that amazing save by Blackwood in the third period).

OVERALL RATING: 9.25/10