Spurred goalward by experienced head coach Justin Evans, The Pittsburgh Riverhounds take to the grassy battlefield and dribble figure-8s around opponents from the eastern United States and beyond. Soccer enthusiasts can exchange their general-admission ticket for a stadium's-eye view of the Riverhounds' roster of talented kickers in action, as well as two earfuls of noise from their loyal mob of fans, the Steel Army. The 12-year-old team gained national recognition last year by joining the United Soccer Leagues Pro Division, one steppingstone away from the MLS and two steppingstones from the NFL.
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Click above to buy this Groupon for Sunday, January 31, at 3:05 p.m. vs. South Carolina Stingrays. Click on the links below for other games.
The original incarnation of hockey, known as hokey, consisted of one person playing against his or her self to see how many blue lines he or she could draw in concentric circles around a puck while figure skating. For inconceivable reasons, this version quickly fell by the wayside as the motion blurring, body slamming, and puck chucking of modern hockey gained ascendance. For $10, today's Groupon gets you one ticket to see the Wheeling Nailers at the WesBanco Arena in Wheeling, WV ($18.50 value, including arena fee). Choose the date and opponent from the links above, or sate your fascination for watching Zambonis smooth the ice by buying them all.
There is no limit on buying blocks of tickets for a single game, making this a great opportunity to repay the family of wolves that raised you by giving them a physical, fast-paced show on ice. Your tickets will be in the platinum/gold section, giving you a panoramic view of the clash of the ice titans. Present your Groupon at the box office on game day to receive your tickets.
The Nailers are the AA affiliate of the Penguins. Come see the young players strut their stuff as they skate toward the big leagues. It’s like watching an episode of Before They Were Stars without knowing it. Hockey is like the magnificent mutt of the sporting world. You get the speed of basketball, the elegance of ice-skating, and the utter brutality of golf all combined in one action-packed event. Take your adrenaline-deprived librarian friend or entire cul-de-sac out for a raucous afternoon or evening of hard hits and flashing lights.
The Intelligencer has covered numerous Nailers games. Here's what they say about a thrilling match against the first-place Toledo Walleye:
- But Wheeling jumped right back as newcomer Zack Sill won a battle for the puck and centered it to Capraro who went top shelf for his fourth to tie it 2-2 after two. It remained that way until Sill headed the puck to Casey Pierro-Zabotel, who carried it into the Toledo zone and down the left side until he nearly passed up the goal. But just as he was about to, he fed it to Capraro on the other side, and he put it into the open net.…There were some tense moments at the end including a spectacular save with 5:55 left on Ewing, who lunged and hit the puck toward and [sic] open cage. But Teslak somehow recovered in time to make the save. – Shawn Rine
The NBA Development League affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Canton Charge regale hoops fans with basketball savvy from a roster stacked with talent looking to play their way into the NBA. Donning the same yellow-and-red color scheme of their affiliate squad, the Charge compete in the East Division of the NBA D-League. The team plays in the Canton Civic Center, where sounds of cheering fans and squeaking shoes echo off of rafters and occasionally create a high-pitched rhythm that the Charge Girls, the team's dance squad, can groove to.
The defending Mid-American Conference champion Kent State Golden Flashes men’s basketball squadron looks to continue their run of success during 2010–2011’s challenging slate of home games. Two upper reserved seats at an upcoming home game afford views of the whole court as head coach Geno Ford—last year’s MAC coach of the year—leads a team with NCAA tournament ambitions. High-flying forward Justin Greene and speedy guard Rod Sherman will lead the Golden Flashes as they take on teams such as the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, the South Florida Bulls and their deadly 3-point shooting centaur directed by former coach Stan Heath, and the Youngstown State Penguins. Don a poodle skirt and Cold War fears for the Dec. 2 game’s ’50s theme night, or simply immerse yourself in the school songs, boisterous student section, and monster jams of Kent State basketball.
HappyFeet founder Andy Barney boasts a lengthy resumé: the Oxford, England, native was a semipro soccer player by the age of 16, studied physical education in college, and coached youth soccer for 10 years before moving to the U.S. In America, he coached at Avila University and wrote the book Training Soccer Legends, but one day he found his extensive experience challenged by an unlikely group—preschoolers. He had agreed to spend what he thought would be an easy afternoon leading tots in a soccer workshop, only to end up exhausted yet inspired to design a curriculum specifically for younger kids.
His research eventually led to HappyFeet, where instructors play with kids aged 2–6 using a proprietary lesson plan the company dubbed “story time with a soccer ball.” Each kid receives a ball, and beyond practicing basic skills such as dribbling, striking, and autograph signing in a noncompetitive setting, the incorporation of stories, nursery rhymes, and songs enables kids to exercise both physical and mental faculties. The 45-minute indoor classes, which were reviewed by the _Pittsburgh Tribune_, are held onsite at preschools and sports facilities such as PISA. Little ones can also be enrolled in HappyFeet’s leagues, where a 15- to 20-minute mini class precedes a 30-minute game.
Ice Connection of Pittsburgh hosts a flurry of activity throughout the week, as everyone from hockey players to casual skaters take to the ice. Public skate sessions unfold every weekday and on Sunday, letting beginners brush up on their skills in a fun, safe environment. For those looking to take the sport more seriously, Ice Connection hosts lessons, figure-skating freestyle sessions, and youth hockey teams on its chilly arena floor.