Frozen Four in Philadelphia - April 10-12, 2014

These are my pictures and videos from a trip to Philadelphia to attend the 2014 Frozen Four -- the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championships.


Thursday, April 10 - Semifinal Day

We met up and left from the Albany area in the morning and had an uneventful ride to the Philadelphia area. After checking into our hotel in King of Prussia, it was time to head into Philadelphia for the semifinals [5 Roads and Signs Pictures]. We arrived at the Wells Fargo Center in plenty of time to walk around the Frozen Fest and to look for something to eat [5 Pictures]. It was surprisingly hard to find anything available outside of the school-sponsored pre-game parties, but eventually a cheesesteak place opened up so we were able to get something.

About an hour before game time, we went in to check out the arena and to see the pre-game warmups [4 Pictures]. The first semifinal featured my Union Dutchmen against the Boston College Eagles, a fantastic game that ended with Union taking a 5-4 win [14 Pictures]. I also have a video of the final seconds (hosted on YouTube).

Friday, April 11 - Frozen Friday

For this year's off day of the Frozen Four, we had a busy day planned. We started with a morning at the Valley Forge National Historical Park, which likely set a new record for the most college hockey gear in the park on any day in its history [19 Pictures]. From there, we drove [9 Pictures] to lunch in Bear, Delaware, where we met my family (on their way to Florida) and Andy's friend who was going to take him back to their house for the day. Darren and I continued on with a drive around the northern Delmarva, where I ended up visiting my last missing county in Maryland [18 Pictures]. We then returned to Wilmington for a Blue Rocks game [22 Pictures and 2 Scorecard Scans], where I saw a minor league game in my 42nd different ballpark. After the game, we met Andy at the Delaware service plaza on I-95 and drove back to King of Prussia for the night.

Saturday, April 12 - Championship Day

The game wasn't until evening, so we had a full day in the Philadelphia area. We decided to spend it in the city. Our first destination was for Dim Sum at Imperial Inn in Philadelphia's Chinatown neighborhood. Very good! [2 Pictures]. From there, we were off on a marathon walking tour [2 Pictures]. Our first goal was the US Mint, but when we arrived, we (and many others) were disappointed to learn that the tours don't run on Saturdays this early in the season. So we moved on to check out Independence Hall (from the outside only) and the Liberty Bell [7 Pictures]. From there, we headed over to the riverfront in the Penn's Landing area [7 Pictures]. By then, we knew we'd want dinner before the game and we hadn't yet gotten a true Philly cheesesteak. We redirected our walk to the south and visited Jim's Steaks for the first time [Picture]. The wait was probably 30 minutes but the steaks were excellent! After our early dinner, it was time to walk back to the car in Chinatown and get ourselves back to the Wells Fargo Center [4 Pictures]. Unfortunately, my camera was malfunctioning, so all of my pictures of the team intros and the first period were all bad. But it got (mostly) back to normal by the end of the first period and I do have a handful of pictures from the rest of the game [4 Pictures]. It was a little too intense for me to have the camera out much. But I did take a movie of the end of the game and the start of the celebration [Video Hosted on YouTube], and have a good number of pictures of the postgame celebration [18 Pictures]. Unbelieveably, Union got the job done and beat Minnesota for the national championship, 7-4. It was the third great game of the weekend, capping off one of the most exciting Frozen Fours (and not just because my team won). We drove home right after, but it wasn't hard to stay awake reliving that weekend of hockey. - Thu Jun 12 15:56:06 EDT 2014