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Opening night festivities

There will be three new restaurants open on the concourse. I’m keeping you in suspense — just follow your nose to the new delights (there is BBQ sauce involved). Also, there will be cotton candy available at select concessions, and Toyota Center now serves Coke products instead of Pepsi.

Opening night on-ice promotions include a tug-o-war between the American Red Cross and local mascots, and the chuck-a-duck (similar to chuck-a-puck), where you can win prizes and help support the players’ education fund.

Come game time, there will be a new opening video as the team takes the ice, followed by pyrotechnics and the unveiling of the banners. There still are tickets available.

Presenting the flags Saturday night will be Staff Sergeant Andrew McMann of the U.S. Army, and Lyle Gilk, a retired Air Force Senior Master Sergeant, Security Specialist. McMann served 6 1/2 years as a combat engineer and fought in the Iraq war, where a roadside bomb exploded beneath his vehicle while on patrol and broke both of his legs. Gilk served several tours in the Vietnam War and in 27 years of service, earned the bronze star and meritorious medal.