As a Northeast native, I grew up loving hockey. Everyone is a Bruins fan where live, and we are surrounded by numerous top tier college hockey programs though out all divisions. Since about the time that I started playing hockey, I was being taken to games. I can remember watching my brother play his first year of hitting in the pee wee league and thinking how fast those guys were moving and how hard they played. Even going to high school hockey games was no different to me then if I were first row at the Boston Garden watching the pros play. The crowds were wild, with students and parents both cheering and shouting at the guys that my friends and I looked up to as older local athletes. I went on to play high school hockey and experienced most of this and they are some of my favorite memories. Several of my friends went on to play college hockey and I have been to numerous college games, and every time it is just awesome!
Ask any hockey fan who watches the NHL and they will tell you pretty much the same story. The first week or two of the season is pretty great to watch. Teams are racing to see who's going to get their foot in the door first for top in the conference. From then, until usually the last two weeks of the season, the game play slows down, players take more shifts off, and games are just less entertaining to watch. Once those final two weeks come around and then playoffs... there's nothing I'd rather watch because that shit is awesome. But for a while, hockey just seems a little dull to me. But not college hockey! I could watch those guys play over regular season NHL games ten out of ten times. They go balls to the wall every shift, of every period, of every game. Watching college hockey takes me back to when I was a little kid watching my brother's teams or the high school team play and thinking they were the greatest ever. I think it's funny that you can see such a difference in the professional vs the collegiate level. You would think the guys getting paid would be busting their humps, but it's the guys playing for their school and the pride that comes along with it that give 200 percent.