Game On: St. Paul Sports

Late last month, NHL hockey returned to the ice in St. Paul. For sports fans, the lockout and labor dispute between the NHL and its players was a frustrating ordeal, especially since the Minnesota Wild signed two hot blue-chip players during the off season: Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. Nevertheless, the shortened season (reduced from 82 regular season games to just 48) will be welcome relief to downtown St. Paul. Some debate remains about hockey’s impact to the overall health of the city. Nevertheless the revived NHL season will certainly help restaurants and bars in and around the Xcel Energy Center.

While the Wild may be getting off to a rather “listless” start, sports fans may want to check out the Minnesota Swarm, the professional lacrosse team that also shares a home with the Wild at the Xcel. The Swarm host rival Toronto tonight during their annual Heroes Night. Service members, police officers, fire fighters or nurses (past or present) are invited to the game for free. You can go here and reserve your ticket, or simply print a voucher and bring it to the X for a free ticket.

Upcoming home games:

Minnesota Wild
Feb. 6, 7 p.m. vs. Nashville
Feb. 14, 7 p.m. vs. Colorado
Feb. 17, 5 p.m. vs. Detroit

Minnesota Swarm
Feb. 6, 7:30 p.m. vs. Toronto
Feb. 16, 6 p.m. vs. Calgary
Feb. 24, 2 p.m. vs. Edmonton

For some good food, drink and fan atmosphere both pre- and post-game, try one of these nearby restaurants located along Seventh Street.

The Liffey
The classic Irish pub, with plenty of Guiness on tap and a great patio with views of the St. Paul Cathedral (for warmer weather of course)
75 West Seventh Street

Eagle Street Grille
Located right across the street from the X at the busiest intersection in the city
174 West Seventh Street 

Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub
The ultimate hockey sports bar owned by the former NHL defenseman, with memorabilia and flat-screen televisions adorning the walls
258 West Seventh Street

Patrick McGovern’s Pub
The friendly Irish neighborhood pub, perfect for a game-day gathering
225 West Seventh Street