|Coming in from I-275 on the approach to Downtown Tampa.|
|This is our exit!|
|Here we are driving past the "Tampa Bay Times Forum" where the Lightning play. (It used to be called the much more appropriate, "Ice Palace" until the local newspaper sponsored and renamed it.)|
|We've parked and are heading toward the stadium. Don't let the sunshine fool you, it was COLD that day!|
|There's a big courtyard area in front of the stadium. They will have a band set up on the stage and all sorts of assorted entertainment most games.|
|Following the herd of masses entering for the game. The Forum can hold over 19,000 people for a Lightning game.|
|View to the left from our seats. The large pipe organ is up in the top corner where it says, "Tampa Bay Lightning"|
|Our view from the seats. Think the jumbo tron is big enough? LOL|
|During intermission, I took this shot from the top of section one to give you a wider view of the arena.|
I don't know if you know much about hockey, but our captain, Marty St. Louis, got a natural hat trick (3 goals in a row by one player) in the FIRST PERIOD of the game. Getting a hat trick in general for a game is tough. Getting a natural hat trick in a game is even harder. Getting a natural hat trick in the first 20 minutes of the game? Nearly unheard of! Then, Marty got a 4th goal within the first 2 minutes of the second period, tying the all-time record in Lightning franchise history.
If that weren't crazy enough, one of the San Jose Shark players, ALSO got a natural hat trick during the second period! This was only the 4th time EVER in the entire history of the NHL that a player on both teams scored a natural hat trick during a game.
Sadly, despite the amazing FOUR goals by St. Louis - something that's literally a career highlight - the Lightning wound up losing 5-4. Boo.
Still, much fun was had and Willow greatly enjoyed the excitement of being at a game in person!