Xpress Yourself

Gavin Paterniti
Gavin Paterniti

The season is only three weeks old, and the team has only one win thus far, but I’m glad I got to see the Southern Tier Xpress victorious in its home opener.

Now in its third season at the recently rebranded Northwest Arena in Jamestown, the Xpress has seen its fair share of turnover among players and the coaching staff alike. But one constant remains: it’s still exciting hockey.

I first experimented with spectating local hockey when I began attending Jamestown Ironmen games during its debut season in 2011. Following the departure of that team and the arrival of our current NA3HL affiliate in 2013, I’m still as grateful as ever that we still have a team to root for.

It’s no secret that junior hockey in Jamestown has a much-maligned and turbulent past, but so far the Xpress organization seems to be doing everything right – from consistency at the ownership level, to maintaining a strong commitment to providing a quality product on the ice, to maintaining a strong community presence off of it.

The Xpress will face an unprecedented number of challenges in its third season. The NA3HL has expanded in size to include a whopping 48 teams, and division rivals the Metro Jets are thus far looking unstoppable this year. But, as I suspect is the case with most fans of Western New York sports teams, I’m just happy that I have a team to get excited about with the return of each season.

The team will return to home ice for a Friday game against the Pittsburgh Vengeance at 7 p.m. If you haven’t yet had an opportunity to see the hometown boys provide an exciting 60 minutes of edge-of-your-seat hockey, I would highly recommend giving the team a chance. It’s a highly-affordable and family-friendly form of entertainment that will more likely than not keep you hooked.

There are 21 home games remaining this season; I hope to see you by the ice for at least one of them!

Original article by Gavin Paterniti, Post-Journal.