Good Sunday morning!
Let’s recap a very crazy night at the TU Center first. Most importantly, the Devils took their 4th straight, a 6-3 victory over the Springfield Falcons. Rookie Adam Henrique lead the way with 2 goals, Michael Swift and Brad Mills both tallied shorthanders in the first period, Matt Anderson added one in the 3rd period and to top it off Alexander Urbom scored his first North American goal into the empty net. Mike McKenna was solid again in net, stopping 24 shots.
But the main story was the penalty filled second period that at one point saw some very crowded penalty boxes on both sides. Things started early on in the period, Ben Guite scored and knocked Michael Swift to the ice in the process. Guite goes to the box…but Swift gets sent there too. Why? Mark Lemelin, the referee last night, just didn’t have a clue. To add to it, the Devils bench gets an additional unsportsmanlike for arguing the call. Less than 2 minutes later, Dane Byers nearly takes out Stephen Gionta along the boards. Rob Davison takes care of things and tackles Byers, they go to the box. The teams go to line up for a faceoff when Jonathan Sigalet starts bumping Harry Young out of his way. Not a good idea buddy. They start shoving and next thing you know it’s on between them. I give Young the unanimous decision, Sigalet didn’t have a chance. Things calmed down…for about 3 minutes. Then came the main event, the heavyweight battle of the night: Pierre Luc Leblond vs. Tom Sestito at center ice. Well it started there, the two dragged each other into my corner of the building during the bout, it was a good few minutes before the linesmen separated the two. We’ll call it a draw on this one. Right after Byers leaves the box, he strikes again and slams an unidentified Devil (didn’t see who went down) into the boards, Lemelin NEVER saw it (and he was right near the play…IDIOT). Louis comes to the rescue and tackles Byers from behind and a flurry of punches begins. And by the way the helmet was off the entire time this was happening. So of course when the penalties are announced Byers only gets a high sticking and fighting call, and Louis gets roughing, fighting and the 10 minute misconduct. I swear this ref is making Chris Brown look good right now. After that, finally peace was restored and the remainder of the game went off without incident. The two teams don’t play again until February 25th in Springfield (a game I will be attending), but this could be an interesting but short 4 game series if last night was any indication.
After the game was the postgame autograph session with the team. I do like how the Devils have it set up. Every 5 sections in the arena concourse there is a table set up with 4 players each. The lines are small enough that you can get to see every player. When the Rats did their sessions on the ice, everyone was individually seated and had their own line. It was pretty easy to tell who the popular ones were (any goalie we had was always popular, plus the enforcers) and who just wasn’t getting the love. Plus being on the ice had its risks, especially after the one year I wiped out in front of Cam Janssen trying to take a picture on my phone. Ryan Murphy wouldn’t let me live it down the rest of the night. Anyway I digress…probably the most fun table of the bunch was the last one I went to, Louis’s table. He was seated with Harry Young, who I don’t think has a clue how to smile, he always looks serious. Louis was trying to make him crack at least a grin but to no avail, even recruiting kids visiting him to try it. Harry’s response? “I’m never sitting next to him again.” Even Alexander Urbom, the other serious looking one of the team, actually did smile for a photo at one point. And by the way, yes he does speak English. A couple of fans thought he couldn’t which is why he was so serious and quiet all the time (no that’s Harry Young).
Now to today. This afternoon I will be participating in the annual Booster Club charity Bowlathon with the team. I get to bowl three games with 2 players selected at random pre-event and hang out for the afternoon (and probably watch football, the Rats/Checkers LOVED their football). A little known fact about me is that I’m somewhat of a bowling expert (if you want to call it that), I grew up in junior bowling, from age 7-18. It was to the point in high school that I was doing 3 leagues at once: Saturday junior league, Sunday girls’ traveling league, and two high school matches a week. After I got into college and started working, the interest kind of died off, especially after my mom died (she was the one that got me into it since she too was a bowler…along with my grandparents, both my uncles, a few cousins…it’s a family thing I guess). Now I basically only do it once a year, at these bowlathons (and the occasional Bowl for Kids Sake if Job 2 participates, which they haven’t as of lately). But for me it’s like riding a bike, once I get used to the arm angle again and being on the approach, it’s like I never left the alleys. So we’ll see if any of the guys bring their A-game to the alleys this afternoon.
I’ll be doing some photos this afternoon but will try not to tweet too much, hopefully I’ll recap tonight or tomorrow…