ARE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SUFFERING  from some apocalyptic ice storm weekend blues? Wishing for the clear blue skies of a park day at Nathanael Greene? Pining for the buzzing atmosphere of a May afternoon at Hammonds Field? Are you sitting at home wondering how you’re going to make it through the four-day Ice Storm/MLK weekend with the little ones trapped in the house and nowhere to go that is worth getting out in?

Wonder no more, fellow Springfieldians! The local sports that most people have to wait til summer for are not only closer than you think, but the winter options of the Queen City sporting world can give America’s favorite past time at the park a real run for its money!


That’s right! The good old-fashioned parlay of skilled skating, rough racing, and ferociously feisty fist fights! But Joanie, you say, how can I possibly hope to glean the same kind of satisfaction I get from summer sports in a chilly and foreign activity that I don’t have a lot of knowledge of? Even if I went to watch a local hockey team, it would surely not be something that would excite these January downs I’ve got hanging over me! That is where you are sorely mistaken!


Here in our humble southern Missouri approximation of a metropolitan area, not more than a block away from our beloved home of the Cardinals, sits the home of the roughest toughest rink rats this side of the Mississippi! We have, housed here in the college district of our beloved Downtown, some of the most exciting prospects in the Western States Hockey League! They are not amateurs, they are not a farm team, they’re a consistently victorious group of young men straight out of high school, on their way to collegiate hockey glory. In fact, the next season of the Springfield Express will see a promotion in their status, making any and all team members eligible to play in the NHL.


Hot damn! I thought you’d never ask! These boys make a good deal of professional NHL teams look like amateurs. They have a lot of speed in their skating, a lot of precision and teamwork on their passes and plays, and SWEET LADY TALLULAH, THOSE BOYS CAN FIGHT!


I don’t mean to speak for all of my fellow Springfieldians, but I swear to you that when you walk into the MEDIACOM ICE PARK with a hesitance on what to expect, whether you are familiar with hockey or haven’t ever seen a game, when that ice is zambonied, and the red white and blue EXPRESS boys come out and show you the zeal, precision, and violence that they are so adept at doling out, you will be screaming for goal and cheering for the goalie saving yet another shot in the top shelf. You will be going bonkers watching the 417 represented in hand to hand combat that is regulated and allowed in an honorable “let’s duel it out” fashion. You can’t help but have the team spirit rush through your body when you see your mailman, that’s right, your MAILMAN heckling a member of the opposing team so badly that he’s trying to climb out of the penalty box to get at the feisty little post carrier!


This weekend they play three games against THE OKLAHOMA CITY BLAZERS

  • Friday Night: 7:00 face off
  • Saturday Night: 7:00 face off
  • Sunday afternoon: 2:00 face off

The tickets are reasonable, the parking is decent, the food is hot and tasty and the atmosphere is electric. Come see the boys that are winning over hockey fans and first timers alike. The only suggestion that would improve the experience overall is to change the theme song when they come out on the ice from “Crazy Train” to “If you Want Blood, You’ve Got It” by AC/DC. Sit back and watch the boys work!

I’ll see you there!




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