Hockey: The Brandon Wheat Kings (4-1-0-1, 9 points) open the invasion from the East tonight, facing the Spokane Chiefs at the Arena.
The Prince Albert Raiders (2-5-0-1, 5) follow on Friday as the first of the Eastern Division teams make their biennial tour of the U.S Division.
For the Chiefs (2-2-0-1, 5) it’s the early stages of a long homestand that includes a visit from division rival Everett on Saturday. There are three more home games after that before the Chiefs head to Tri-City on Oct. 29.
Anthony Bardaro has points in all five Spokane games and is second in the Western Hockey League with seven goals, including a league-best six power-play goals. He has 10 points. New captain Darren Kramer also has points in all four games he’s played, with four goals and three assists.
WSU’s ‘Mayhem’ Friday night
Basketball: Washington State’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will combine to open the 2011 season Friday night, in the Cougars’ annual Midnight Mayhem event.
The Bohler Gym event will begin at 8, with doors opening an hour earlier.
After team introductions, the women will hold a 3-point shooting contest, then the men will follow with a team scrimmage and slam-dunk competition.
After the on-court activities, both teams will sign autographs.
The Cougars women open their season with an exhibition against Seattle Pacific on Oct. 29. The men’s exhibition with Lewis-Clark State will be Nov. 5.
Arizona lands 2015 Super Bowl
Football: Ah, Arizona. Just the place for the Super Bowl to thaw out after a frosty foray into the New York/New Jersey area.
The Super Bowl is heading back to the desert in 2015, one year after it will be at the mercy of winter weather in the Meadowlands. The Phoenix area was awarded the 49th Super Bowl by NFL owners Tuesday, beating the only other candidate – Tampa, Fla.
It’s difficult to be critical of the choice with regards to weather: average temperature in early February in Glendale is about 60 degrees. In East Rutherford, N.J., where the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate will be played in 2014, the average is 31 degrees.
The NFL also set Feb. 2, 2014, as the date of the Super Bowl in New Jersey; that date will not conflict with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“It’s historically warmer on Feb. 2,” Giants owner John Mara said with a smile.