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Thing #67: Puck was Always A Favorite January 28, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in 101 Things, random stuff, Rochester.
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Remember Puck?  From A Midsummer Night’s Dream?

Yeah, I liked him.  He was just fun.  Plus, I’m pretty sure Peeps told me once that he was Puck in his school’s performance of that play.  Coincidence?

Oh, no, wait a minute.  Not that Puck.  My bad.

I found, in my Christmas stocking this year (Last year?  What’s the protocol here?  Last calendar year, but just a month ago.  You know what I mean.), anyway, I found a pair of on-the-ice tickets to an Amerks game.

Peeps remembered that Thing #67 on my 101 List was to go to a hockey game, so he went ahead and decided to pick up a pair of tickets and make an evening of it – kind of like “date night” for us.

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So, since the game was at the Blue Cross Arena, what better way to get in a “hockey” kind of mood than to start with dinner around the corner at the Dinosaur?  I mean, I suppose we could have gone to Tahou’s, but, well, a garbage plate doesn’t quite say “date night,” now does it?

Actually, let me add, walking over to the arena is a good thing after a big dinner and 4 bottles of beer.  Each.

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See here’s the thing.  One would think (wouldn’t one) that getting downtown by 5:00 for dinner would suffice for a 7:05, um, tip off? snap?  tee off?  face-off.  Yeah, that’s it.  The beginning of the game.

Well, it turns out, not so much.  We gave them our names and proceeded to wait.  We elbowed our way to the bar for a beer and took it to the outside-overflow-waiting area.

And we waited.

And had another beer.  And another.  (And used the rest room.)

And yet we waited some more.

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Not that I’m complaining – to be honest, it’s a good thing to see a business – any business – that busy!  People were good natured about it – you kind of expect, if you’re going to the Dinosaur on a Saturday evening, that there’s going to be a wait.

And finally, at about 6:40, we were seated.  Fortunately, the  staff is well-trained (they want to turn over those tables!) and we placed our orders and got our meals in about 10 minutes.

We were still kind of late to the game, though – I heard later that we’d missed a fight that broke out on the ice just a few seconds in!

That’s what you watch hockey for, right?  To see mean, angry guys with sticks try to beat each other up behind the safety of a glass wall?  Heck, that’s the best part!

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And fortunately, hockey, unlike, oh, say, the RPO or the theatre, is the sort of pastime where people kind of mill around – we didn’t have to tiptoe all the way to the front of the arena, apologizing for disturbing everyone – we were barely even noticed!

Well, except by our seat-neighbors, of course, a guy about our own age with a little girl, maybe 9 or 10 or so.

Aw, how sweet.   Dad’s taking Little Girl out on Saturday evening for a hockey game.

Then the quarter half period ended.

And during the, um, intermission, they had, I don’t know, an exhibition game?  Two groups of the tiniest little boys, all fully decked out in pads and skates, with sticks and everything!  It was the cutest thing!  Most of them spent as much time on their little padded bottoms as they did on their wee skates!

I spent a couple of minutes chatting with my seat-mate.  Little Girl, when one of the bad guys slammed one of our guys into the glass, said to me “Whoa!  Did you see that check?!!”  That was when I admitted that it was only my second-ever hockey game.  (I did not admit that my first-ever hockey game was probably before she was born.)  Little Girl was, well, flabbergasted.  (I had noticed by this time that Little Girl was wearing an official AHL signed hockey jersey, that she knew the players by name, and she had her very own “Let’s Go Amerks – We Still Believe” sign that she periodically held up while she screamed and pounded on the glass.  Just wow.)  Little Girl told me that this was, oh, probably her hundredth game (they have season tickets).

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The second period started, and the game itself was . . . fast.  And by fast, I mean by the time we figured out at which end of the court ice all the action was, someone would hit the puck and before we knew what happened, everything had shifted to the other end!

I’ll be honest – we spent as much time saying “wha. . . ?  where? huh?” as doing anything else!

At one point, one guy took a shot, the puck flew UP into the air, bounced off the glass, and whacked the guy sitting two rows behind us in the knee!  Then some boy about 6 seats down from us dove over the seat and snagged the puck, I assume as a souvenir.

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Little Girl was very nice – she kind of took me under her wing and explained to me what was going on and what it meant when the announcer guy said “The Amerks have a Power Play!  The Amerks have a Power Play!”  and how, if the puck sails over the ice without bouncing off the glass first, that’s a penalty.

And, of course, there was the Zamboni.  (Actually, there were two of them, but I’m not sure of the proper plural form, so I’m only referring to it in the singular.)  (Just because we’re at a hockey game doesn’t mean we have to give up proper grammar!)

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And fortunately for us, although the first two periods ended in ties, by the final minute of the final period, the Amerks were ahead 4 to 3, and the bad guys took their goalie OUT of the game (who knew you could do that!) so they had that extra guy at the other end playing the offensive.  Then one of our guys got control of the puck, whacked it all the way down to the unattended goal (as everyone dashed back there) and WHOOSH! the Amerks scored again with just over two seconds left!

Not only was Little Girl jumping up and down screaming and pounding the glass, the whole row was!  Yay!  We won!

I’ve got to say, while I’ll never be quite the hard-core hockey fan Little Girl is, we had a great evening.  A nice dinner, an exciting game – we even got to see some good pushing-and-shoving on the ice!

Plus, now I get to cross off another Thing!

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Comments

1. judy - January 28, 2010

How fun and a fun story to read! I have never gotten into hockey although I used to go to some games in Denver with an ex. I never really figured out that game. And, yes, one more OFF the list.

jud

Jude, hi! I’ll be honest – I find most “team sports” eerily similar – take the ball (puck, whatever) and get it into the other team’s goal . . . maybe using a stick, or your feet, or on horseback, or on the ice or a field or in a gym. . . 😕

2. anne - January 28, 2010

OK, so there are three periods? So the game is divided into thirds? Or do they just play three quarters and call it done?

Hockey .. lesseee …. that’s with the white ..no, that’s baseball. It’s the punkin, right? No, that basketball. I know, the brown one with the points that doesn’t bounce right! Well, phooey, I’m not much good at all this sports stuff. But glad you had fun on date night!! 🙂

Yeah, I’m not so good at sports either. Lucky for me I had Little Girl to help keep me straight!


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