Colorado Avalanche: Following the Team to Calgary

CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 24: Garnet Hathaway #21 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game on February 24, 2018 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 24: Garnet Hathaway #21 of the Calgary Flames skates against the Colorado Avalanche during an NHL game on February 24, 2018 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

I traveled to Canada to watch the Colorado Avalanche in enemy territory three times. Final stop: Calgary.

Part three of my three-stop Canadian road swing following the Colorado Avalanche was to Calgary.

My friend Leslee and I had rented a car in Edmonton, and it took us three hours to drive to Calgary. Calgary is set up very similar to Denver. The highway system with the mountains in the distance and the airport out of town reminded me so much of home.

We did have to make a stop at the airport to pick up my friend Bailey. She flew in from Idaho and was the original person I was going to go to Canada with. While we were sitting at the airport we jammed out to Canadian country artist Jess Moskaluke, one of my favorites.

Day two in Calgary was game day. The team website said they do not do tours of the Saddle Dome during hockey season. Bummer, that was one of the stadiums I really wanted to see. Instead, like every other city, we decided to do some shopping.

The mall we went to was a two story mall with catwalks over the streets, which was pretty cool. It had an indoor garden center that you could eat by. Again, like Edmonton, not a lot of home team fans were around considering it was game day, but they did have more than Edmonton seemed to.

We walked into a shoe store and almost immediately got “kicked out” because we were all wearing Colorado Avalanche jerseys. The store manager said, “No way, there will be no Avalanche fans in my store.” We proceeded to start a conversation about hockey as well as football with the store manager.

He decided we were okay and said, “Women that actually know their hockey and football, you’re welcome in my store anytime.” We started talking about the Flames and their stars as well as the Avalanche and their young developing team. I am glad our basic hockey knowledge was enough to make friends with people in Canada.

Calgary has a passenger train system that will take you to just outside the Saddle Dome. Easy way to get us from point A to point B while crossing another “never have I ever” off my list. I had never taken a passenger train outside of the airport before, until Calgary.

We were walking toward the Saddle Dome, and I had to take a picture with my sign in our last city. Flames fans were not as welcoming as Vancouver fans were. They were yelling at us a bit more and it didn’t seem to matter that we were in town from Colorado. Never knew Flames fans didn’t like Colorado that much. There were a few Avalanche fans at the entrance we were at.

I gave the guard my ticket, and he said he doesn’t let my kind in even if I had a ticket so I would have to go to a different gate. I scooted to the gate next to his and was let in. However , that security guard told me “Avalanche fans aren’t welcome.” I told him I was in town from Colorado and he said “even worse, you’re a traveler.”

My friends were lucky enough they went through different staff members and got a warmer welcoming than I did.

To say the least, Calgary and I were not off to a good start. We asked (after our experience in Edmonton) if we were allowed to stand at the glass and have our signs. The usher said we can have signs, but they don’t like people standing at the glass. That’s fine I guess, at least I can have my sign.

Leslee, Bailey, and I all made our way to the glass by the Avalanche bench. Avs Equipment guy walked out of the locker room area with two pucks.  He tossed them over the glass to Leslee and I. Bailey was okay with it because she isn’t a big hockey fan. Other Avalanche fans started asking how we got that hook up and how they could get it. He is pretty awesome not gonna lie, thanks buddy.

If you couldn’t tell from my last few posts I am a big fan of JT Compher. Well he comes out before the game and usually stretches or focuses on the bench. Leslee, being the great friend she is, decided to take “selfies by the bench” AKA pictures of JT for me. Thanks Leslee.

More from Mile High Sticking

Warm ups always take a bit to get started, so to kill some time I got on twitter. I noticed I have 20+ notifications on twitter…. What the heck. So I look and see Moser and the Avalanche both tweeted me.

On closer inspection I see Moser took a picture of me and my sign through his binoculars “I see you… @CallieAvsAgnew.” My reaction “NO FREAKING WAY MOSER IS CREEPING ON ME!!!!!”

Then the Avalanche responded with a picture of Moser taking the picture through his binoculars “The effort behind this photo”. Okay this made my day and my trip. The Colorado Avalanche and Moser have a way of making your day better and making you feel welcome.

There were a lot more Colorado Avalanche fans at this game than I thought there would be. We were surrounded by a sea of burgundy, blue, and white. Many Avs fans with signs and down for warm ups to see how close they could get to watch the young talent before having to return to their seats for the game.

Part of the reason I love the Colorado Avalanche is their players are so amazing. Tyson Jost gave a child with a Jost sign his stick that was autographed. Then Nail Yakupov gave the girls next to me a signed stick as well. A bunch of pucks were flying over the glass to the kids around us. These guys love their fans and are just happy to put a smile on their faces.

Sadly the Avalanche decided not to show up to this game at all. They ended up losing 5-1. Who scored the lone Avs goal? Nathan MacKinnon, of course:

That was a lucky goal, but we’ll take it because it was the only one we got. Duncan Siemens got his first NHL point of the season.

I was sitting next to a Flames fan that would not shut up about how badly the Avs were getting beat and trying to give me high fives. His friends were both Avalanche fans and said they owed me beer after the game for me putting up with him.

Next: Following the Avs to Edmonton

The game may have ended badly, but I was so happy to have been on this trip and had the experiences I did.  Three games, three pucks, three cities, and three long stories to tell.

I can’t wait for my next road trip and to see what the Colorado Avalanche might bring in the future.