ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — After a thrilling overtime win Wednesday night against the Colorado Avalanche, hockey fans have been rushing to get their hands on anything with a Wild logo on it.
“This city is pumped. I mean this state’s pumped. We are ready to go,” said Corey Reding, one of many fans with an arm-full of merchandise Friday at The Hockey Lodge inside the Xcel Center.
“I have two kids at home, plus a wife, so I better get each of them something,” he said.
St. Paul-native Meg Martin was gearing up before hitting the road Friday afternoon.
“I’m headed, hopefully to the game tonight, going to Chicago and at least going to watch it in a bar nearby,” Martin said.
In the last couple of days, one item has been especially popular.
“It’s a long name, it’s a two-presser,” said Pam Fontaine, while making a brand new Nino Niederreiter jersey.
Nino-mania has exploded since Wednesday night, and employees have been hustling to keep up with demand for the new playoff hero.
“It’s probably 50 [jerseys] a day,” Fontaine said.
How does that compare with demand for #22 in the regular season?
“I don’t want to say anything bad,” she said.
Outside, fans we’re already getting ready for Game 3.
“We got out wrist bands, we’re number one, I’m number one!” said Renne Pelovski.
Tickets go on sale Saturday morning and Renee and her mother Helen were in line 24 hours early.
“I mean, I have kids, but you wanna get away from them once in a while, ya know,” she said.
They packed a tent, blankets and plenty of snacks – everything you’d need for a long but exciting night.
“See now, I’m thinking it’s actually going to be a big party out here,” Pelovski said.
St. Paul and Chicago’s mayors are also getting in on the excitement. Mayor Chris Coleman offered up a 25-pound Pearson’s Salted Nut Roll and a six-pack of Summit beer. Mayor Rahm Emanuel countered with a barrel of popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shops, a six-pack of Half Acre Beer and a jar of Chicago-style Hot Giardinera.
Sen. Al Franken and Ill. Sen. Mark Kirk are betting six packs of local craft beer.