This week I was able to get out a little bit and go see an NHL game with a friend. Last year the San Jose Sharks organised a Finnish Heritage Night for the first time, which was aimed at all the Finnish people in the area. At that time I wasn't able to participate since I was in Finland, but luckily this year I was able to join other Finns at the game. They offered Finnish people a special price for the tickets and some extra programs. And it ended up being a fun night!
This was the second time I was at an NHL game. The first time, it was the San Jose Sharks against the Anaheim Ducks, and this time against the Winnipeg Jets. There was a big group of Finnish people in the audience dressed up in blue and white (colors of the Finnish flag) and carrying Finnish flags. We also got a gift when arriving to the arena: a San Jose Sharks Finnish Heritage Night scarf, which made it easy to recognise all the other Finns.
A funny thing happened to us at the game. We accidentally sat down in the wrong section. We were wondering why we had been given tickets so far away from the other Finns, when they all seemed to be in a same section. It wasn't until the last round of the game when we realised that we were not sitting in our actual seats. I can't believe that no one came and claimed the seats for themselves. We practically sat there the whole game. Oh well, things happen!
The only downside of the evening was that the San Jose Sharks' Finnish player, Joonas Donskoi had fallen ill. Of course it would have been more interesting to follow the game with a Finnish player in it, but you can't really do anything about getting sick. I can only whish a speedy recovery for Joonas. This year's influenza has been bad. And at least we had a Finn on the opposite team, Patrik Laine. We were also supposed to get a group photo with Joonas Donskoi after the game, but of course that was cancelled as well.
Unfortunately, the game ended with a loss for the Sharks. After that we were invited to the ice for a group photo. We also saw a few other fans who got to go on the ice and take a photo in front of the shark. That shark is used in the beginning of the game and the players all skate through it when they arrive. We got our picture taken in the center of the ice instead of the shark, even so we were a fairly happy group of Finns.