On the other side of my computer screen as I start writing this, the second period of the Heritage Classic Alumni Game is streaming...and Lanny McDonald just scored on a penalty shot! Anyway, this weekend in Calgary, with the games being played sans roof, gives me an opportunity to write about my favourite team and still stay within the context of my blog. Those players sure look cold. Been there, done that...only difference is that I played in front of a few less fans.
I never really had a favourite NHL team until 1980, when I decided to become a fan of the team that had just relocated to Calgary. My reasons for doing this were what you might expect from an 11-year old kid: I wanted to cheer for a team from a Canadian city, and the Leafs were too bad and the Canadiens were too good. So, I've been a loyal fan of the Flames since then, through the good times and the bad times.
My favourite original Calgary Flame was Paul Reinhart; my favourite players on the 1989 team were Al MacInnis and Lanny, of course. It was nice to see so many players from that team together again, even if they were freezing their way through the Alumni game. And, I actually played outside against one of the players in that game...you can read all about that experience right here.
The day after...
Something I didn't mention in that article about playing in the pouring rain at the World Pond Hockey Championships against Brian Skrudland was that the next day, the temperatures dropped like crazy. In fact, I checked Environment Canada's historical data: the day we played against Skrudland had a high of plus 12; the next morning, when we played our game, it was minus 12. That's a temperature swing of 24 degrees in less than a day. Oh, and it was windy of course, so we played with a wind chill of about minus 23. Let me tell you, when that much water almost instantly freezes, great ice for skating is not the result. As we played, we tried to avoid sections of the ice that had huge cracks and chunks that were chipped out. Our game that morning was against a team of some fine hockey players from Newfoundland, who didn't seem to have as much trouble with the ice conditions as we did. If you click on the picture to look at the larger version, you might get a sense of how not-great the ice was. Apparently the cold weather in Calgary tonight also made for poor - and dangerous - ice. Hopefully everything will be OK for tomorrow's game.
Finally, here is another picture from our cold game. It looks like I'm scoring a goal against a guy who is playing with only one leg. Fact is, he must have thought I was going to lift the puck...little did he know that I can't do that!