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  • Writer's pictureBlaine Hoppenrath

Hopp's Hockey Weekend: Tampa Bay Edition

After two years of watching the Hawks epically lose in Denver and LA my dad and I were ready for a "W." And even though it may have been warmer in Phoenix than Tampa, we packed our bags and headed to The Sunshine State. Although the game was in Tampa, we made the trek across the bay to stay in St. Petersburg.

The first night was pretty chill as we didn't even land until 5PM. We checked in and headed down to the waterfront and landed at Stillwaters Tavern where I had the best Blue Crab Mac N Cheese ever (at least of my life). We wandered back to the hotel for the night.

I woke up early the next day to go on a "run." In reality I was just trying to come up with an excuse to check out a hipster coffee joint. I mean I did in fact run to Bandits and I did in fact Uber the 2.3 miles back. But the coffee was worth it and I got in a solid 25 minutes of "working out." I also enjoyed running along their central ave with colorful murals and palm trees.

After my run, Dad and I headed out to Bodega for some cuban sandwiches and then to the Dali Museum. Besides the fact that everyone in St Petersburg decided to go there that day, the art was amazing. I studied Dali briefly in my college art history class, but to see that many was pretty incredible. I would have liked to have spent just one day in his mind.

After the museum it was game time. We headed over to Tampa and the area. There were a healthy amount of Hawks fans in the area as warmups started, and as always, we really loved watching the boys get ready. Right before face off we headed up to our seats and settled into a very intense but scoreless first period.

I was starting to be super sad because I really didn't want to witness another loss. Tampa scored the first goal with a few minutes to go in the second and 17 seconds into the third. I was pretty sure the game was over. But fortunately for me the Hawks scored FIVE UNANSWERED GOALS. What the heck? Five goals in the third to win? It was amazing.

Living off the high of the win we wrapped up the trip the next morning with a few hours at the beach basking in the sun and napping to the sounds of waves crashing against the shore. We wandered around the historic Don CeSar hotel and borrowed their beach chairs to catch a nap.

It was an amazing win and a great weekend!

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