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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fargo Force 2013-14 Season Opener

I had my 33rd birthday last week, and overall, I'd say I did pretty well. All my presents were hockey-related, as my girls bought me NHL 14 on Xbox 360, and I pooled my birthday money from everyone else to purchase the NHL Canter Ice package from DirecTV. My wife also purchase tickets for the two of us and our 4-year-old, Caroline, to go to the Sept. 20 USHL season opener between the Fargo Force and Sioux City Musketeers. The two-year-old was shipped off to my aunt's house for the evening.

When we go to the games, we usually take the shuttle service. The team rents out a couple school buses to ship people from a nearby bar, The Bulldog Tap, to the arena and then back once the game is over. We usually take it for two reasons. One, we park for free, and two, Caroline loves riding the school bus.

We had a great time at the game. Caroline is turning into a big hockey fan, although she isn't interested in playing, because she doesn't want to "fall down." She really is getting better about sitting through a game without getting too bored. She is, after all, only four. Although, I must say, I was impressed that we only had one potty break in the middle of a period, so that was nice. It turned out to be a really good back-and-forth game, with the Force pulling out ahead for a 3-2 win.

At the end of each game, they have one player, who is featured on that games scorecard, signing autographs. The player for this game was winning goaltender Cam Johnson.

Unfortunately, they had run out of scorecards, which featured a closeup of Johnson wearing his mask, but I did pick up an official Force hockey puck to get signed. Caroline had him autograph her Force cowbell.

When that was all finished, we went outside to wait for the shuttle bus. Apparently, there weren't any other shuttle-riding autograph seekers, because it was just us out there. We were hoping that someone would be on the way soon, but 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes passed without a bus in sight. My wife went back in to ask somebody if another bus was coming and was told that the buses are supposed to run for an hour after the game ends. We made it out within 20 minutes, so we didn't miss the deadline. We waited another 10 minutes, which was taking us close to that 1 hour mark, and she went back in.

Well, she found us a ride, as one of the team's staff members was willing to take us back to the Bulldog Tap, which was 3 or 4 blocks away. They also gave us three complimentary vouchers for another game to apologize for the mistake, and gave Caroline a Fargo Fore hockey puck. Really, it wasn't necessary. I'm not the kind of person who gets upset when things don't go my way, and I'm not the kind of person who demands free stuff when things don't go wrong. I'll certainly accept them if offered, though, but I don't demand it. After all, I'm not going to let one little issue ruin an otherwise fun night. I did, however, really appreciate that they gave Caroline a puck. She was doing just fine with the wait, but even if it's just a cheap $5 item, those little things will REALLY make a kid happy.

We always have so much fun at the Force games, and circumstances like this it just show how well they treat their fans.

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