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A Friday of Fish Stories- Part Three: Frozen. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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A Friday of Fish Stories- Part Three: Frozen.

This has nothing to do with fish, really, except that if it's really what my mother called it- "brain food"- I plainly haven't been eating enough of it.  Why else would I venture into a dark and cold downtown on a Friday night, surrounded by loud, drunken fans in a stadium with no running-water facilities, to watch a bunch of guys play hockey who aren't good enough to make even the lowly Sabres?

Because it's awesome, that's why.

I left the office party just in time to get into a major backup heading into the stadium parking lots from 490. Ah, but this is my downtown; I know the alleys. Minutes later, I was parked on a parallel street two blocks from the stadium gate, but more like six blocks from the willcall.  Circumnavigating the exterior, I proudly claimed one of these:



and headed in with 11,000 or so other equally deranged individuals.

One of only a few problems on the night: the merch setup. Only one stand- the Red Wings team store- was selling anything other than food and drink, and the line was impossible. So I selected my items, camped out in my first of many seats for the night (none of them the one on the actual ducat), went back at the first tv timeout and walked right in and out with the necessary hat and stinkin' shirt.

We'd gotten word that the stadium restrooms were out of commission due to frozen pipes, and a foreboding wall of portapotties provided the only option. That, and a pint at McGregors, kept me from drinking anything, but it certainly didn't stop anyone else:



That's Conehead, a fixture at WNY sporting events, famed for his "guarantee- if you buy a warm beer from me, the next one is free!"  I promise that was not a problem in 18F temperatures and on snow-covered seats.



This was probably my favorite poaching spot of the night- full view of the rink plus the Time Warner coverage of the game on the two big tvs in the foreground and on the left field scoreboard.  By the time of that first trip back to the team store, the Amerks had scored the first goal of the night and people were getting happy.  Then, Monsters retaliated, with two amazingly quick power play goals and same old Sabres, um, Amerks were down and seemingly unable to score.

I moved between watching and wandering, mostly trying to keep from freezing either set of cheeks:



The Moose was loose! The longtime Amerk mascot, having a great time with the faithful even though stuck in one of those hideous throwback uni's- really my only other nitpick of the night.  This game was the Rochester Americans against the Lake Erie Monsters, so why did they choose these soulless things that, in the Amerks' case, didn't even have the players' names on the backs of the jerseys?

By the end, though, when I was home and warm in front of the Time Warner feed, you really didn't care:



I'd had enough Frozen Frontier for my chilling blood by the end of the first period, and, rather than brave the portapotties, decided to take the quicker two-block walk back to Kermit for the ride home. Don Stevens, longtime voice of the Amerks, kept me in it for most of the second period until the AM signal died out just past Batavia- the "Cleveland" opponents (per their dumb retro jerseys) had tallied another one before I even got moving, but in the canyon of radio silence between Exits 48 and 50, somehow Rochester managed three straight goals to go ahead with the third period winding down.

Which it almost did- to 0:01 and barely a tenth of a second remaining, as a Monster lit the lamp just as the horn was sounding to make it 4-4.  We then went to oooovertime, a scoreless five minutes, followed by a shootout. I didn't realize that the AHL goes five rounds rather than the big boys' three, so I thought it was over when Lake Erie had two goals to our none. But no, the teams then reversed fortune for the next two rounds, and after Amerk goalie (and Jason Pominville trade throw-in) Matt Hackett stopped the last Monster cold, veteran Amerk grinder Matt Ellis finished the night he'd started over three hours before with a goal horn and that happy bunch of guys approaching #37.  The Ol' Perfesser, indeed.  Best of all, he's been recalled to the Sabres for this afternoon's game against Calgary, where at least he'll be warmer, better paid, and wearing a uniform with his actual name on it.

There are college and high school and alumni games that will be going all of this and into next weekend, but my bucket list is full on this one. Happy, still not entirely thawed, but full:)



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Comments
thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: December 14th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am irrationally pleased that Conehead is still around. :) I remember him from working Bisons games over a decade ago!
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: December 15th, 2013 12:26 am (UTC) (Link)
We both need to get out more. Maybe not in that weather- certainly not in the fishtail-o-mania that has marked our roads today and tonight- but still;)
thanatos_kalos From: thanatos_kalos Date: December 15th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC) (Link)
::g:: I'll get out more once the dissertation is done. (& once I have a job. :P)
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: December 14th, 2013 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
*jealous*

I haven't seen live hockey all season. Hoping to be in NYC in mid-March. Maybe I'll treat myself to tix to the Sabres-Isles game while I'm there...
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: December 15th, 2013 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Dates, woman. I'll even sit in a leaky section of the Mausoleum if you guys are there.

ETA. Oh. Right. These ARE planned in advance. Not like we're talking playoffs or anything:P

http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/preview?id=2013021008

Edited at 2013-12-15 12:29 am (UTC)
greenquotebook From: greenquotebook Date: December 15th, 2013 02:48 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm aiming for mid-March, and I noticed that the Sabres are coming to the Coliseum on the 15th, so it's a possibility. My trip - no boys included - still isn't set, but once I know, I'll pass along the dates, just in case. :)
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