For sports fans, Saturday in September usually means college football, but Saturday, Sept. 20 is also a big day for hockey fans. Regular season tickets went on sale Saturday morning at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.
The Vikings are introducing fans to a lot of new things, including the coach, the quarterback and the stadium. A new temporary home makes for a semi-exciting pre-season opener. Friday night starts a new era in many ways.
Andrew McCutchen homered, doubled and singled Friday for the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 6-5 loss to the Minnesota Twins. McCutchen went 3 for 3, scored twice and drove in two runs. The reigning NL MVP is 8 for 11 in four games this spring. “No big deal,” he said. “They don’t count in the spring.”
From the moment the gates opened on Saturday night, the vibe at Xcel Energy Center was a little different than usual. Can a pre-season hockey game have a “vibe,” you ask? It can when the Winnipeg Jets are in town. Thanks to NHL realignment, the Minnesota Wild find themselves in the same division as their neighbors to the north. And if Saturday’s game is any indication, the contests between the two will be intense all season long.