The bleachers at the Kohl Center weren’t completely filled on Thursday afternoon, the smell of fresh popcorn didn’t flow through the air, and the cheers from the crowd lacked obscenities.

In fact, there wasn’t even an opposing team. Nevertheless, another Wisconsin Badgers hockey season unofficially commenced.

The Red and White game isn’t exactly the most competitive event to attend if you’re a Badger hockey fan, but it does provide a chance for the team to showcase, for the diehard fans who attend, just what may be in store for the season ahead.

Maybe it’s not the most accurate indication of how the team will fare this year, but at the very least, it’s a chance for UW hockey fans to put on jerseys, sit in their prospective season ticket seat and watch the hockey team they love skate around for two 35-minute periods.

After only one week of practice, the team still has a lot to work on and a lot of questions to be answered. But it’s still early in the season.

Besides, the Red and White game isn’t supposed to be the prettiest hockey we will see for the next seven months. It’s just a symbol to all of us that the hockey season is on the horizon and the air is getting colder. It won’t be long before we are bundling up in our cardinal and white, throwing down a couple and heading off to the Kohl Center to harass the opposing team and cheer for our Badgers.

By the way, the White team won 6-5 in overtime.