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The 303:30 – NHL Slapshot review, Josh Cooper, and a GIVEAWAY!

In this episode, Jeremy and Codey open the show with their thoughts on NHL Slapshot for the Wii (A special thanks to Joe Nickolls and the staff at EA Sports for a review copy!).  The game launches Tuesday, September 7th, and the guys are excited to finish their Peewee to Pro careers!

Josh Cooper, new Predators beat writer for The Tennessean, stops by to introduce himself and give us some perspective of covering SEC football, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and Nashville Predators hockey.

On Twitter, you can find out more about NHL Slapshot at @NHL_Slapshot, and you can follow Josh at @joshuacooper.

Giveaway info:  Post a comment, with the story of your first hockey game.  We’ll pick a winner at random from the stories posted, and notify the winner.

Notes about the Giveaway:
-Entries MUST be submitted via a comment on this page by Monday, 9/6 at 3:03pm CDT.
-Contest open to residents of the United States (Sorry Canadian friends).
HINT: Get a bonus entry into the drawing when you review our podcast on iTunes!
-Winner wil be notified via email (use a legit email!) and we’ll work out delivery options from there.

Music: Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes), Salute Your Solution (The Raconteurs), Time To Get Ill (Beastie Boys), Paul Revere (Beastie Boys), I Rep That West (Ice Cube)

Staff: Kent Harris (voice over)


  1. Brandon Felder

    September 4, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    My first ever hockey game was in Atlanta. We had a church group outing and went to an Atlanta Knights game (if I remember correctly). Needless to say, I was pretty young and it didn’t make an impact somehow. The first game I fully remember was in Nashville before the Preds ever came to the city. We actually were given a ballot to vote on the name of the team and I’m proud to say I did put the Predators down as my selection. Sorry my memory of my first ever game is so vague but I was young. Thanks for the contest guys and all the great work as usual!

  2. Greg Layman

    September 4, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I guess it was 1998 (?). I took my 10 year old son, and got down on the glass for the pre-skate. My sons eyes were glued on the players and the rubber flying around the rink! Sebastien Bordeleau (former Predator) had just completed a drill, and was standing back against the boards directly in front of us. He must have glanced over his shoulder and noticed my son, face pressed against the window, fogging the glass (haha) as he watched with awe.
    Bordeleau then flipped a puck over the wall, into my sons waiting hands. I tipped my hat in thanks and appreciation, and the smile on my sons face showed the same. The team lost that night, but two hockey fans were born. And have been to hundreds of games since!

  3. Jamison Nethery

    September 4, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Even though the Preds lost, the experience was absolutely great! My first hockey game was game 3 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Predators were leading the series 2-1 against the Blackhawks. I figured I would just watch game 3 like I watched all of the other games. That Wednesday night i found out wrong. My father surprised me with tickets and one of the most memorable nights of my life! I was so excited I couldn’t sleep! What really killed me was school the next morning, plus the 3 hour drive from Louisville, Kentucky (where hockey fans are nonexistent) to Smashville, Tennessee. When we finally got to Bridgestone Arena I laid my eyes on people like me, Predators fans, for the first time! Before heading to our seats, we made a stop at the pro shop where we stood in line with Sully’s Mother, She is a very nice lady! Getting to our seats, we realize that we were setting right besides the Blackhawks bench! We were some of the only Preds fans in the area! I never thought I would have been sitting next to the 2010 Stanley Cup champions. I just couldn’t believe I was sitting beside the cover athlete of my favorite game, NHL 10! (I’m not a Blackholes fan!) That night was one to remember! I owe it to the greatest sport on earth, Hockey, and my awesome dad!

    • Jamison Nethery

      September 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      im sorry it was Game 4 game, not 3!

  4. Gage Matthews

    September 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    My first hockey game was while I was in undergrad. It wasn’t a pro game, but without a hockey team at my high school, I was disconnected from it (even with UW-Madison down the road). I went to a little school in Minnesota called St. Olaf College and, as you might guess, hockey is as close to a religion as sports get around there. I went to a game my sophomore year of school and instantly fell in love with it. The facility wasn’t fancy and the heaters were never on, so it was a balmy 20 degrees or less in there. I didn’t mind that since I’m a winter guy, so I just had a blast watching the guys I knew out there on the ice. Instantly fell in love with hockey.

    My first Preds game was the first preseason game last year, which was about a month after I moved to Nashville for grad school at Vandy. I had never seen an arena like that, but I loved everything about the Preds from the get-go and am a proud addict these days.

  5. Adam Rutherford

    September 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    My first hockey game was the last home game of the 07/08 season. I’d just gotten out of the army a couple of months prior and my best friend took me. This was the first tv timeout ovation and we won to make it in the playoffs… This was easily one of the best days I’d ever had and I’ve been a die hard Preds fan ever since. See you guys for another great run! < 30 days!!!

  6. Jim Chandler

    September 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    My first game was a Sabres game in the early 70’s in Memorial Auditorium. I think they were playing the Canadiens. I was just a little kid, but I remember the (smoking) crowd cheering on the French Connection (Gilbert Perrault, Rick Martin, Rene Robert). I vividly remember going down to the glass during warmups and being in awe of Jerry Korab’s crazy mustache. I wish I knew back then what I know now. I would have savored it more.

  7. Jeff Brown

    September 5, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    My first hockey game was with my dad at a Nashville Knights game the year Trevor Jobe broke the league record for either most goals or points (He only needed 2 more to break the record at that game, but he didn’t get it until a couple of games later). I don’t remember much about the game (not even who they played) other than the Knights lost, and that I still have the souvenir puck and program I bought.
    A part of me had always been drawn to hockey, even though I lived in a small rural TN town, so I had always wanted to go see a game and my dad finally took me for my birthday. Though we had a good time, it would be years before we attended another hockey game when the Preds finally came to town. I’ve been hooked ever since!

  8. Jason Castleman

    September 5, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    My first hockey game was also a Nashville Knights game. I remember pretty much nothing about it except that the Municipal was almost completely empty. We were in the upper deck and nobody was around so me and some other kid smashed a coke can and started kicking it all over the place.

    My first REAL hockey game was the last game of the first Preds season against the Devils. I had all those typical fears before that game about hockey working in Nashville. During that game we lost like 4-1 and despite NEVER being in the game for one second, the crowd was insane all night long. Despite having no chance at winning everybody stood for the last 5 minutes or so and chanted “Let’s Go Predators” and it gave me the goosey bumps. I’d never seen a sports crowd like that before. It was amazing. It convinced me that hockey could work just fine in Nashville.

  9. Dani

    September 5, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    My first ever hockey game was a New Haven Nighthawks (AHL) game in 1986 … but not as a fan, as a videographer to record the game for local television. My fandom didn’t come until much later when I went to my first Isles practice in 2006. 🙂

  10. Tim Pearson

    September 5, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    My first hockey game was a Nashville Knights game in what must have been 1990ish. I also don’t remember much about that game: I think there was a fight or two. I started watching the NHL back in ’92 and when the Preds showed up, I couldn’t beleive it and started going to games as much as I could since I lived in IN at the time. Anyway, I’ve been moving in and out of Nashville over the past five years which has allowed me to go to many games in the Bridgestone with my dad who I’ve converted into a hockey fan as well.

  11. Ben

    September 5, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    My first hockey game was March 10, 2007. The preds played the Columbus Blow Jackets (although at the time I mistakenly thought they were called the Blue Jackets, 303 corrected me early.) I sat in section 305. I had been watching the Preds all season on TV thanks to a friend from work. I had been trying to get it so that my wife (now ex wife) and I could go. At last the saturday night came, the two of us, and another couple went to the game. It was car flag night. Walked in the door and got my first Preds souvenir! (Thanks Sports Season). Needless to say, I had a blast!!! I had one of those old cinnamon pretzels from the 3rd floor concourse, with cream cheese. The Preds won. and between the two, I was hooked. I couldnt watch the Preds only on TV anymore. That same night, we got tickets, came back the next saturday home game, which was Saturday March 17. The infamous Tootoo-Robidas-Modano incident. As a result of getting hooked on that first Saturday, I ended up at a total of 4 more regular season games after the Dallas game, including my first shootout (Chicago) and the season finale. I also went to two of the three Playoff games vs San Jose. Then during the 2007-2008 season, yep, I had season tickets. Been hooked and crazy for the Preds ever since.

  12. Jessica

    September 5, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    My first game was in 2006. My friend’s husband couldn’t make it to the game with her so she asked if I wanted to join her. After watching 1 Predators game I was hooked. I even started watching them on TV when I couldn’t get to the game… much to my husband’s dismay.

  13. Kevin

    September 5, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t have a great first hockey story but I can tell you this .. A friend gave me his season tickets for that nights game because he couldn’t go. It was a game against the Kings and we stomped their butt. I was freakin hooked!!! Been to every game I could go to since then and I even have a Predators man cave in my basement now, equipped with big screen and built in refrigerator and Preds paraphernalia everywhere .. GO PREDS!!!!

  14. Josh

    September 5, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    October 23, 1999. We were taking on Edmonton that night. It was a church outing, and outside of seeing D2: The Mighty Ducks a few times, hockey was a brand new sport. I didn’t even know that the Preds existed at the time, to be honest.

    I don’t remember much from the game (I was only nine at the time), but I do remember one thing. We had arrived right at the opening faceoff, so up until that point, I had never heard the goal horn. Needless to say, when Greg Johnson scored 5 minutes-ish into the game, the horn gave me a pretty good scare. All in all, we won 4-3, and I’ve been hooked on the greatest sport on the planet ever since.

    Go Preds!

  15. Joseph Levy

    September 5, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    My first NHL game took place during the Predators inaugural season. It was a Predators-Blues game that I believe ended in a tie. I knew very little about the game back in the day and it is funny seeing how my opinion of the sport has changed over the years…

  16. Pingback: This copy of EA Sports’ NHL SlapShot could be YOURS! TODAY! | Section 303

  17. Tiffany Francis

    September 6, 2010 at 8:07 am

    My first hockey game was the Predators vs. Flames in March 2006. Me and two of my friends got tickets on a whim and knew very little about the game. Luckily a season ticket holder was sitting next to us and explained some things to us. The Predators scored 9 goals that night, and it was so exciting! I was hooked from that moment on, and this year will be my 3rd year as a season ticket holder myself!

  18. Dirk Hoag

    September 6, 2010 at 8:21 am

    My first pro hockey game, like Brandon, involved Atlanta. My dad took me to a game when I was a little kid in Detroit, at the Olympia with the Red Wings hosting the Atlanta Flames. I don’t remember too much of it outside of the old-style scoreboard, and that we sat in the upper bowl. It just a few years later when Joe Louis Arena opened, which at the time seemed colossal and modern… gads how times have changed!

  19. Jason Smith

    September 6, 2010 at 9:18 am

    My first hockey game was going to see the UAH Blazers in Huntsville when I was a pre-teen. My cub scout troop took a trip to the arena where we got a chance to meet the players and watch the game. It was a very fun experience. Little did I know what type of hockey fan I would become 25 years later.

  20. Buddy Oakes

    September 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    My first game may be the furtherest back of all the entries so far. My dad took me and my best friend Mac Dale to a Dixie Flyers game at Municipal probably around 1966. I don’t remember much other than that we were sitting in the first row in the end zone in the balcony and Mac got hit in the chest with a puck. We went on to see several more games before the Flyers left town and became Blues fans when the team started in St Louis and we could listen to the games on KMOX.

  21. Molly

    September 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    My first game was in Nashville at the municipal auditorium watching the minor league team Nashville Knights. I was 11 and was there with some other girls from my soccer team. We didn’t know what was going on but it was still exciting and my friend caught a puck. After the game I told my mom I wanted to play hockey and she cried– she’s a dental hygienist. Lol!

  22. Chris BeVier

    September 6, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    My first hockey game was the game after we traded for Forsberg. I had been living in Nashville for about 2 months. Growing up in Grand Rapids MI I had always heard about hock but never paid it much mind. I can remember sitting in Section 302 however all I can remember from the game is the speed of the game and the awe I had watching it. I don’t remember the team we played or if we even won. I went to 2 or 3 more games that year and then the 2 playoff games. I now am going onto my 4th year as a season ticket holder and I have no idea how I lived without hockey. I always tell people that I am glad I didn’t start to watch Hockey till I moved to Nashville because then I would have been a dreaded Wings fan.

  23. Jeremy K. Gover

    September 6, 2010 at 2:08 pm



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