Minor league affiliates of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, the Falcons will be defending their icy fortress within the MassMutual Center as they look to vanquish their AHL foes with a barrage of slap shots and bone-rattling checks. Seasoned coach Rob Riley has his team primed on the ins and outs of goal blasting, frozen fisticuffs, and fine dining etiquette, so be prepared for an exciting contest of competitive stick wielding. With the Devils in their sights, the Falcons hope to pull together a late-season run of solid play and Jeopardy wins to close out their year.
Cross-country skiers of all experience levels glide over 12.5 miles of machine-groomed trails that meander through Winding Trails’ 350 acres of snow-dusted wilderness. Trailblazers skim past spring-fed ponds on the double-tracked trails, zipping down gentle dips and traversing picturesque bridges, which crisscross over stocking-cap-wearing trolls. Beginners amble their way through the easy trails denoted with green signs, and more advanced skiers can tackle the blue and black trails surrounding Phantom Pond. Skate skiers can speed around the Skater's Loop, which tours the park's perimeter. Outfitted with skis, boots, and poles drawn from more than 200 sets of rental equipment, adult and child skiers caper about the frosty wonderland perfectly garbed for maximum comfort, ready to swiftly escape herds of hungry snowmen. Conditions permitting, skiers can hit the trails from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
In their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest 4 Times the Fun North American tour, the Globetrotters will add new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet farther than the official 3-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian.
Now in their 86th season, the Harlem Globetrotters continue to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2012 world tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites take to the hardwood each game, so spectators might spot Special K Daley sharing a behind-the-back pass with newcomer Jacob “Hops” Tucker, the 2011 NCAA slam-dunk champion whose 50-inch vertical leap cruelly dashed his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Trotters might also present a study in contrasts with five-foot-two Too Tall Hall and seven-foot-eight Paul "Tiny" Sturgess, the world's tallest pro basketball player.
The Western Mass Pioneers perennially contend for the top spot in the United Soccer League's U-23 Premier Development League, which consists of the best college players in the nation vying to be drafted by a Major League Soccer team. With this deal, you'll catch the Pioneers—led by college stars from Brown University, Binghamton University, UMass, and more— as they do battle with the New Hampshire Phantoms, comprising players from the world's evil, ghastly universities.
A member of the New England Collegiate Baseball League since 2008, the Blue Sox incubates top college players while they stay fresh and limber between seasons in the NCAA. Partially funded by Major League Baseball, the league consists of 10 teams across six New England states, all competing in a summer of hardball that begins in June and concludes with the playoffs in August, just before players trade in baseballs for rubber-band balls and return to school. Originally founded in 1997 as the Concord Quarry Dogs, the Blue Sox wield homefield advantage at Mackenzie Stadium, a venue that can seat more than 4,000 fans or 30 anti-T-shirt missile silos.
As the Double-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Rock Cats clubhouse is baseball's equivalent of an arboretum, blossoming in the summer with big-league-ready talent while nurturing future pros, a laundry list of baseball all-stars that has previously included Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, David Ortiz, and Torii Hunter. Following the frenetic lead of Rocky, a full roster of mascots entices eyes with various forms of family-friendly entertainment throughout each game. An extra dose of off-the-field entertainment can also be savored inside the ballpark's Fun Zone, where fans test their skills by smacking baseballs in a homerun derby, throwing fastballs with speed pitch, or swinging an oversize hot dog to prepare for the day when professional baseball decides all bats must be meat-based.