Thursday, February 15, 2007

Week in Review: New Brunswick to Alberta

Sunday: 120 pond hockey teams, representing countries including Bermuda, Egypt, Ireland, as well as the United States and of course Canada, have concluded action at the World Pond Hockey Championships. The Boston Danglers defeated the MTV 2-Headed Dogs from New York City to earn their fourth consecutive title at the annual event in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick.

Tuesday: Johnny “Chief” Bucyk, who was born and raised in Edmonton, celebrated fifty years with the Black-and-Gold at the TD Banknorth Garden. After the pre-game ceremony for Chief, who now serves as the team’s road services coordinator, the Bs, including newcomer and Alberta native Andrew Ference, took on the Edmonton Oilers.

After the first period, I was in line for the washroom, where two Oilers fans, each wearing a two-tone dark blue and orange faux afro and an Oilers jersey, posed for a picture.

“Hey, Oilheads,” I joshed them, “You’re blocking the line.”

“C’mon, we’re already losing,” the fellow on the right said playfully, hoping I’d cut him some slack.

His name is Duane. He had flown from Edmonton to watch the game with his cousin, Marcel, who lives in Digby, Nova Scotia and is a closet Canadiens fan. We chatted about my fondness for Canada and my trip with the AMHL photographer to Alberta in 2005, and then we returned to our seats.

The Oilers, losing 0–2 lead at the first intermission, didn’t score in the second period. Nor did the Bruins.

With about four minutes left in the third period, which had been the worst for the Bruins this season, and the Bruins still leading 2–0, my wife said, “Let’s see if we can get Timmy a shutout.”

I groaned. Vocalizing what everyone was hoping for is a no-no, like whispering that Josh Beckett has a no-hitter going into the seventh inning. You don’t want to jinx the outcome.

But the Thominator and the Bruins held on—and even scored an empty-netter to seal the victory.

Thursday: The AMHL Bruins didn’t shut out the Panthers this morning, but the Bs do boast a zero in the loss column. They continued their winning ways with a 9–8 victory, which prompted trade rumors because the Capitals—who have won but one game this season—suffered their third straight loss. I got a penalty, for as Referee Peter Bagley put it, “tackling.” It was my second penalty of the season. Long overdue, much like a blog entry that’s less than 500 words.
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