Last years Blueliner Hockey Tour was massive and to a heartland of the sport. This though we are staying closer to home. Northern Ireland’s capital city has not only had a love affair with the sport over the last 14 years but the island of Ireland has produced talent for much longer. Long time Nordiques and Sharks forward Owen Nolan was even born in Belfast.
Since the arrival of the Belfast Giants in 2000 the place has been become a centre of hockey travel with fans of all teams keen to make the trip to one of the UK’s best hockey arenas. We will be sample the delights of the Odyssey Arena and the now famous Rocky’s bar.
Belfast though is not just famous for ice hockey. More infamous for being part of the troubles in Northern Ireland in the later part of the twentieth century the city and the country developed a bad reputation. However coinciding with the arrival of the Giants was ending of the vast majority of the trouble and a rejuvenation of the city of Belfast. We will be taking extra care to sample the delights of the city and its public establishments on the way.
We will be arriving in Belfast on 21st March in the evening in preparation for the second of a double header between the Belfast Giants and the Nottingham Panthers on 22nd March. With Belfast so far running away with the league title our hopes of catching the Giants or the Panthers winning the league title seem to demising. But it will still be a fierce nights hockey.