Sunday, March 27, 2016
An evening in Hershey
This wasn't the usual scouting trip to see the Devils of the future.
The Albany team looks headed for the playoffs,which is unusual for them,but the real prospects of the parent team (Pavel Zacha and John Quenneville) are still playing junior hockey,so this is a team filled with lesser prospects and veterans that aren't part of the future.
Add into that that many of the best players of the team were in New Jersey,having been called up to the injury riddled Devils (Including goalie Scott Westwood and leading scorer Mike Sislo) and we didn't have a ton of faith for a Devils win in Chocolate land.
The Devils managed to play a smart and gritty game and hung in there against the Bears to the point of pushing the game through a five minute overtime and to the shootout,where they would lose 2-1 in the shootout and therefore the game 3-2.
Albany goals to Corbin McPherson (2) and Jim O'Brien (17) with Ken Appleby getting the loss in net.
Editor's Note:Thanks to Jason Christensen for catching my typo calling Jim O'brien "Ken".
The game winner in the shootout went to Hershey's Jakub Vrana,a former first rounder of Washington's and the type of player that Albany has lacked due to the Devils lack of impact players acquired through the draft.
Hopefully with Zacha,Quenneville and maybe another top 10 pick (right now the Devils would pick 13th in the draft unless they had some lottery luck) could mean that next years trip might see a more exciting team next season.
However,as with any trip,the story isn't always on the field or in this case-ice.
We had excellent seats just six rows from the ice and were in the club section,which with the food and other options not found elsewhere,I would recommend highly.
The lovely Cherie surprised me with a very nice sausage sandwich with peppers and onions.
I was pretty impressed with the club section as far as amenities go.
I wish I could say the same for the "fans" around us.
I sat beside a very nice elderly couple that rooted hard for their team,but weren't obnoxious with their rooting or got annoyed by ours.
However,we were under a heavy barrage by the four people behind us,who seemed disinterested and downright obtuse about the game in order to brag about such things as (I'm not kidding) "London is so much better than Paris in the summer","I intend getting Eggbert (I made the son's name up) on a summer internship in Belfast" and my favorite a lady older than Cherie and I discussing her "whoring around in her college days at Villanova".
I suppose many go to games for the social aspect of doing something with others and what it is becomes irrelevant,but I wish the good seats could go to real fans that care about what's going on in the game.
Rachel was on the other side of Cherie,who sat between us,so I didn't know that this older (late 50's) guy was annoying her throughout the game.
I had to work right after the game as it being Easter weekend,I couldn't take the night off as I usually would,so I wanted to make the 90 minuteish trip back as quickly as possible to in order to relieve the person being kind enough to allow me to attend the game.
Considering that,the games couldn't have went worse between an unexpected goodbye ceremony to the long time Hershey Bears general manager pushing the drop of the puck back an half hour,overtime and the shootout-time certainly drug as far as it possibly could.
The sellout crowd slowly filed out and this guy kept stopping on a dime going up the arena steps in front of Rachel in the line,which then caused everyone else to slam on the brakes.
Finally,the guy stops in the middle of the aisle again and starts a conversation with someone else to further slow things down.
What I didn't see was Rachel finally pushing this guy out of the way and saying "move!'.
I was a few steps behind her and the guy started to complain "geez,you didn't have to..."
I cut him off with a "Maybe if you wouldn't have stopped three times and then stopped with a conversation,it wouldn't have happened".
He started to rebut and I asked if he had a problem with that and with that he stepped aside.
Had he done that to begin with,I doubt he would have gotten touched.
My daughter truly is her father's child.
I raced down the road and had an enjoyable chat with my ladies as I hit Hagerstown and work at 11;45.
It's funny how games and interests bond us as family and sometimes friends.
In the end,it really isn't always about wins and losses-It's about the memories that you make and the people you share them with.
I'm pretty lucky to have the ladies here to make them with....
Editor's Note:I was told I forgot this part by Cherie and Rachel,so I wanted to come back and edit
In between periods,I saw Dan, a graphing buddy of mine from Harrisburg,so we each moved a bit to chat a while and in Hershey in between periods-a blimp floats through the arena and randomly drops five dollar bills.
As I stood and chatted with Dan,suddenly I felt the tip of something stab my neck.
I wasn't paying attention to the blimp,so I didn't see the five (folded into a paper airplane style point) flying at me.
Fortunately,I grabbed at it instead of swatting it away and therefore earned five bucks!