For the third and final installment of my year in review, I thought I’d share with everyone a few memories and things I learned during the course of this season, mostly off the ice (but some on). And I even have pictures! And here we go…
One of my favorite group photos, from the Holiday Skate: Kinkaid, Sislo, Burlon, Zalewski
-This bunch of guys we had here in Albany were so easy to get along with. I can actually say I didn’t have any personality or attitude issues with anyone, which is kind of rare.
-Trying to tell the difference between the Sestito brothers (well, other than the obvious)? It’s pretty easy. Tom communicates with his fists, Tim with his mouth. A majority of his penalty minutes pretty much came from arguing with the refs. And watch where that elbow’s going!
-Thanks to a member of the In Lou We Trust staff, I had a new Twitter trend: #Free (insert name). It all started when poor Brandon Burlon just couldn’t get into the lineup to save his life, with so many defensemen on the roster at the time. Hence #FreeBurlon was born. And it actually worked in getting him into the lineup. Of course we had to break it out again late in the season (and by the way…I did mention to Brandon the #FreeBurlon campaign, he’s all for it!) after he was left off the Clear Day roster. I further expanded the #Free hashtag to include Myles Stoesz, the forever extra forward, and to whoever was a healthy scratch for seemingly no reason.
-The other Twitter hashtag trend I started? #BlameKoharski. Seriously, it needs no explanation. Partially to blame for the March collapse. It also had a spinoff, #BlameBrown (exhibit A: the events that conspired on April 6th in Adirondack).
-Later in the season one of my what I like to call “color commentators” came up with a new term for when Albany and their opponents got into a shoving match…the association meeting. This fight is NOT an example of one. But this little get together in Adirondack is, just to give you an idea of what I’m tweeting about.
-It just wasn’t the same with Louis Robitaille gone. Yeah, I said it.
-”What’s up?”–Alexander Urbom anytime you say hello to him.
-Very excited to have another Zajac in the fold with the addition of Kelly. Another trend from March: the Kelly Zajac ATO Watch. We knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when Union’s successful run would come to an end. I doubt he and Darcy would ever be on the same line though…
-You can’t stop the Norfolk Admirals, you can only hope to contain them. And hope they start to crack. At least I thought by games 19 and 20 of the streak they were…
Not that I needed an introduction, Matt. (from 11/11 autograph session)
Brad Mills putting that Yale education to good use. (Holiday Skate 12/11)
Now a few things I learned in my many travels during the season:
Geez, one guy's elbow goes a little too high and...(in Binghamton)
Just because your team has won their last 28 in a row...(in Norfolk)
-To a small percentage of fans in Binghamton and Norfolk…and all of Adirondack: Stay classy. And to the group of Phantom fans screaming by the bus two weekends ago…how’s the golf course?
-If you live in Upper Saddle River, NJ, it’s your lucky day: You can buy a car from Jack Daniels. I wonder if you get free booze with every test drive…
-Driving on Interstate 88 to Binghamton and Wilkes-Barre became so much more tolerable this year. Sure I lost a hubcap off my car on one trip, but I can get gingerbread Timbits!
-Of course one of my favorite trips again was to Wilkes-Barre in February. Even though Tux stole my bag, some random tall guy kept following me around booing me, the Devils lost, and I barely won $20 at the casino…but hey there was a Sonic and a Tim Hortons stand…and I found a Krispy Kreme on the way home…
-Most interesting souvenir? It’s a tie, both from Binghamton: first, I picked up a team/animal calendar with proceeds going to a local animal hospital. As a hockey girl, nothing melts your heart more than players holding cute little kittens. The other was actual jersey nameplates. I seriously never saw them sold separately like that before.
-Then there was two days in Norfolk…
Waking up to this every morning did not suck.
-After surviving 20+ hours round trip on a bus, I give hockey players a lot of credit for getting through these long bus rides. Sleeping was definitely not an easy activity, let alone getting comfortable in your seat (and I’m a lot shorter than the average player).
-I want a Dunkaccino! Blame the movie Jack and Jill for that line. Every Dunkin Donuts we passed someone yelled “Dunkaccino!”
-If you’re on a bus going through Maryland, make sure the bus driver goes through the Weigh Station. Or you’ll be sitting behind a random Walmart at 4:30 in the morning.
-Albany (or anywhere in upstate NY, for that matter) needs, needs a 7-Eleven. That is all.
And did I mention…
I miss the beach...
With Year 2 in the books, I just want to thank everyone for a fun year, despite not playing in the postseason. And nice to finally meet a few of those who have been following me (or I’m following them) on Twitter and from the blog as well. Looking forward to Year 3 in 12-13 and hoping for a little more success!