The Phoenix Roadrunners ice hockey team made free tickets available for each Frontier Elementary School student for their game against the Alaska Aces on March 1.
Although the rest of the family had to pay for discounted tickets and provide their own transportation, FES principal Paula Patterson estimated about 100 people from Payson went to the Valley game.
FES students sat in the same section. They cheered like mad while waving their foam fingers for the cameras and were shown on the big screen at US Airways Center.
"It was time to dance and we were all dancing," Patterson said.
Thirty FES students who consistently act and show the six pillars of character -- trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship, and display Wolf Pride -- respectful, responsible, safe behavior -- received an extra ticket to the game, and autographed pictures of the Roadrunners.
Of the 30, the two lucky students who got to go down on the ice and mug for the cameras before the game were Cloee Beeler and Koy Duran.
After the game was over, people who brought ice skates were able to spend some time sliding on their blades around the cold arena.
The Roadrunners took the Aces 5-1.
"I liked it when they made a score and the goalie wasn't looking," Kian Heron, a kindergartener said.
Heron was in his classroom when the Roundup reporter spoke with him.
When asked if he yelled with his friends, Heron said ever so softly, "We yelled ‘woo,' but louder."
"It was had to believe the players were really fighting because they had smiles on their faces while they were pushing each other around trying to get the puck," teacher Daria Mason said.
"It was a good family day. We had great seats," she added.
The Roadrunners kicked off their ticket program in 2008 to reach out to schools around Arizona.
It is a combination of a fun family outing that schools can use as a reading and achievement recognitions program, Ben Weber, the Roadrunners' vice president of business operations, said.
Banner Children's Hospital, one of the hockey team's sponsors, is giving away an autographed Roadrunners jersey to the school who collects the most books for sick children to read. FES hopes to win the prize, to be awarded in April, as the students have collected so many books a representative is going to come to Payson to get them.
"I just heard that they had collected about 800," Weber said.