It’s been almost six weeks since the National Hockey League’s lockout left fans out in the cold. Last week, players and management came to the negotiating table with new potential agreements but were unable to reach a compromise concerning core economic issues. Across the country, die-hard fans are venting their frustrations on social media, spewing homemade music video protests, and plopping seasonally appropriate jack-o-lanterns with carved hockey images  and metal shackles on their stoops.
Contracts and compromises aside, without our Colorado Avalanche , sooner or later Denver's hockey fans have to quench their thirst for a little puck and ice action. Here’s how:
The Denver Cutthroats ' first season is underway, and lucky for them, the Avs aren't around to steal their thunder. For some hard-hitting hockey, the minor league team will give the often-overlooked Denver Coliseum a little athletic lovin’. Hockey-deprived fans can check out the new team—named after Colorado's state fish—for a fraction of the ticket prices at the Pepsi Center ($35 for center-ice seats in comparison to $110 for the Avs). Don't forget your Halloween gear at Saturday's game—prizes go to the best costume found in the bleachers.
Five games in, the Eagles are still trying to get a rhythm down. Due to the lockout, their roster has five too many men, and the team seems to be picking up the caboose for the Western Conference. But if they haven’t lost hope, then neither should you. The Loveland-based team faces off against Utah and Las Vegas this weekend ; their next home game is Friday, November 2.
Perhaps because collegiate hockey does not allow fighting, the seven-time NCAA champs are unfazed by the pros' snafu. In fact, during the 2004 NHL lockout, the Pios won the national championship. And with an impressive defensive lineup—led by NHL-drafted sophomores Scott Mayfield  (NY Islanders), Josiah Didier  (Montreal Canadiens), and Joey LaLeggia  (Edmonton Oilers)—the ice stars may have another shot in 2013. The Pioneers aren’t scheduled to play their arch-enemies from Colorado College until Feb. 8, 2013. Stay tuned.
—Image courtesy of Denver Cutthroats