“The puck is stolen! It’s a two on one. If he scores, they win the game! He takes the pass with ease. He shoots…he scores!!!”
Picture this: You have some buddies over to watch hockey. Your team just won the game in OT and everyone is celebrating. Your friends plan on staying for the other game. In the flurry of excitement, one of your pals mindlessly reaches towards the table, thinking there’s food. Oops! You forgot to buy snacks. You think to yourself, “It’s okay, at least there are beers in the fridge.” You swing the fridge door open and your worst nightmare becomes reality: you’re fresh out of brews. Your guests start to become bored and restless. Everyone is suddenly tired and leaves before the next game. Now you’re sitting on the couch by yourself, wondering what went wrong.
We’re here to help guarantee that you’re never responsible for an epic letdown moment like this. Today’s post is your goof-proof guide to orchestrating the ultimate hockey night party. (Don’t worry, the tips are simple and quick.)
Start off by wrangling the troops. Message guests individually or coordinate via group chat. No matter which you choose, this is probably a good time to chirp your friend Mark over text about how your team is going to annihilate his. Set the tone. It’s all in good fun. Give the boys a taste of how hyped up they should expect to get on hockey night at your place.
While we’re on the topic of pre-party communications: make sure you get solid RSVPs back from everyone so you can plan food and drinks accordingly. All it takes is two flakes in the group forgetting to let you know they’re coming to cause a mass shortage of chicken wings. We want to avoid this at all costs. You already got Mark riled up and we don’t want things to escalate.
Now that the word is out about your shindig, you really only need to figure out two other things: food and drinks.
Adequate munchies is key. Doubly so if your crew will be partaking in adult beverages. Chips and burgers are fine, but we don’t want to help you host a FINE hockey night party, we want to help you host the ULTIMATE hockey night party. You need not go out of your way to source culinary curiosities that your guests have never heard of in order to be a superstar in this area. Simply offer options.
We know you have a stash of Pinty’s in your freezer, so plan to get those going. The more flavours you can offer, the better. Have our chicken chunks on hand? Great! Hockey night would be the perfect time to set them out and reignite the old heated debate among your crew about whether boneless chicken wings really are chicken wings, or if they’re nuggets. Mark will love that. And if you don’t have Pinty’s on hand? Go to the grocery store and stock up beforehand. While you’re there, grab some chips, vegetables and dips. Now you’re set!
Don’t worry so much about presentation. Remember, everyone is here to watch the game – everything else is just a bonus. Serving a mountain of chicken wings on a large wooden cutting board is *~rustic~*. Don’t believe us? Just look at Pinterest. Ditto for serving drinks. If you don’t want to wash a million glasses at the end of the night, unlock high school nostalgia by serving beverages in red SOLO cups. Don’t overlook the power of Mason jars, either. No, they’re not just for storing homemade jam.
Here’s a pro tip that your guests will appreciate for its interactive factor: instead of tossing chicken wings with sauce before serving, set out three bowls with different Pinty's sauces in them so your guests can customize their wing style. You may also want to set out extra condiments and wing toppers like chopped green onions and red pepper flakes if you’re feeling fancy.
If you’re on a budget or pressed for time, stick with the classics: wings and beer! You can’t lose. Of course you’ll also want to make sure that you have non-alcoholic beverages on hand for those who don’t drink and for the designated drivers in the group.
Good company and good food are the only requirements for an amazing gathering, but if you want to take things to the next level, keep reading.
Ask your friends what they think about adding some games to the evening. Drinking games are common practice when watching hockey. Talk to your guests ahead of time to gauge their comfort level, and decide house rules. If you or your friends don’t drink, swap boozy beverages for extra spicy chicken wings. Here are some game rule suggestions, via www.drinkinggamezone.com:
- 1 drink/extra spicy chicken wing: For each time a player or coach drops a cliché in an interview
- 1 drink/extra spicy chicken wing: For every goalie save
- 1 drink/extra spicy chicken wing: For each penalty assigned to a player
- 1 drink/extra spicy chicken wing: For each goal scored
- 2 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: Every time there’s a line change
- 2 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: Anytime a fan shown has a funny sign or costume
- 2 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: For everybody save made by a player (excluding goalies)
- 3 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: Whenever a player gets laid out by a big hit
- 3 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: If the game goes to overtime
- 4 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: Anytime there’s a fight
- 5 drinks/extra spicy chicken wing: If a player scores a hat trick
The more silly and absurd the rules, the better. For instance, take a drink or eat an extra spicy chicken wing if Don Cherry wears a crazy-looking suit (everyone will have to partake here because he always wears wild suits).
If you and your crew do decide to play a drinking game, the most important rule to follow is to drink responsibly. Make sure that there is at least one designated driver in the group and that no one who drinks attempts to drive at the end of the night. Taxis are always available. If your guests are into mobile apps, then Uber and Lyft are the best bet. Order Ubers and Lyfts for your friends on your own device, if you must. Another critically important rule is to respect your guests’ decision to skip the drinking game, should they so choose.
For a non-alcoholic drinking game, why not challenge the boys to a chicken wing eating contest, a la Pinty’s? We regularly host chicken wing challenges at sports arenas across Canada. Whoever can eat the most chicken wings in 90 seconds wins! Super easy, super fun, and a super easy way for Mark to earn bragging rights within the group.
Throwing a game night soiree soon? Tag us in your photos and videos. Show us how you Pinty’s on game night and you could be featured on our social media pages – linked below!