Horns up for the Tampa Bay Lightning at USF Presenting Night [Video]

The Tampa Bay Lighting’s ThunderBug joined the University of South Florida mascot Rocky D. Bull Thursday, March 8, for the third annual USF Presenting Night.  Hundreds of students and faculty attended the USF pre-game party and game, cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning as they faced off against the New York Rangers during their 25th anniversary season.

USF System President Judy Genshaft and Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, were among the USF Bulls riding the Zamboni during intermission at the Tampa Bay Lightning’s USF Presents Night.

Fans were greeted with a performance by the Spirit Squad and Drum Experience on the steps of Amalie Arena.

“This is a special night because the University of South Florida and the Tampa Bay Lighting go hand in hand and support each other very well,” said USF Women’s Basketball Coach Jose Fernandez, the 2018 American Athletic Conference Coach of the Year who was among the USF leaders present at Lightning Night.

“I think the Tampa Bay Lighting, as an organization, is one of the best organizations in the entire country. Mr. Vinik supports, not only USF, but the entire Tampa Bay community. It’s so amazing. We are very excited to have the medical school moving downtown.”

Members of the USF Spirit Squad and of the Tampa Bay Lightning cheer squad greeted fans. 

Attendees stampeded inside when the doors opened, the first 10,000 collecting Bulls & Bolts accordion noise makers. The exclusive pre-party offered all-you-can-eat food and drinks, as well as music by Bulls Radio DJ Jaevon.

Before the first puck drop, highlights included the USF ROTC Color Guard, a standing military salute to Ken Nahrwold of the USF Office of Veteran Success, and the singing of National Anthem by Annie Scott, USF College of Music graduate student.

Annie Scott, a graduate student at the USF College of Music, sang the National Anthem before the start of the game.

Going into the first intermission with the Bolts in the lead 2-0, the Lightning Zamboni took a lap around the ice with USF System President Judy Genshaft and Dr. Charles Lockwood, senior vice president for USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, on board. Hitting the fresh ice to continue the entertainment were several USF students, the USF Spirit Squad, and Rocky.

The second period kicked off with a “Here’s to You” recognition featuring Tayler Mannarino, a USF junior majoring in chemical engineering, who serves as the president of USF’s largest student-run philanthropy, Bulls for Kids.

Irene Hurst and Andrew Kirwin of the USF Muma College of Business Executive MBA program joined Jose Fernandez, USF women’s basketball coach, for a lap around the ice in the Lightning Zamboni during the second intermission. USF mascot Rocky D. Bull also hitched a ride.

The final lap around the ice in the Lightning Zamboni at second intermission included Coach Jose Fernandez; Irene Hurst, Executive MBA Program director at the Muma College of Business; Andrew Kirwin, Executive MBA Program graduate; and Rocky.

Thursday night’s game ended with a Bolts 5-3 win! Another successful USF Presenting Night with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

-Video by Multimedia Journalist Team, University Communications and Marketing; photos by Eric Younghans and story by Torie Doll, USF Health Communications