Last night was hockey night for my husband and myself. Live hockey, not the TV brand. It really is so much better in person, because you can see the whole game on the ice, not just the player carrying the puck.
It was a bit difficult to decide where to go – several choices are sometimes too many. There was a game in Worcester, but my husband had already seen the team they were playing several times. There was a game in Providence, too. But going there would mean rushing around after he got out of work and having to grab “fast food” on the way to the game. Or eating hot dogs at the game. Neither was a good choice for me, with my need to lose weight.
To add to the dilemma, it had started snowing lightly just before my husband got out of work. Just enough to snarl rush hour traffic – you would think these people had never driven in snow before. Worcester was the shortest drive. Providence has a nasty traffic pattern that gets worse at rush hour.
It sounds like Worcester might have been our best bet, right? So where did we go? Springfield!
The snow was coming from the west and would end in Springfield earlier than either of the other two places. The drive to Springfield is about the same as to Providence, but the traffic isn’t nearly so congested (or crazy). Springfield was playing a team we haven’t seen yet this season. There are several places to stop for supper along the way.
Off we went, like two kids on a date. Holding hands, music – heading out for supper and hockey. What restaurant did we pick? The Friendly’s about a mile from our house. We decided that it would be better to eat before places started filling up. I had to laugh when the person seating us commented on our braving the snow to go out to eat. I couldn’t resist a bit of my sarcastic wit slipping out. This is New England and it’s December – it’s going to snow sometime!! We’re only talking a snow shower here, not a blizzard. Let’s be real!! Could have done that and gone to Providence. Oh well! The food was good and hot – at least for a while. The design of the restaurant, which is one of their “early models,” has only one door. So every time someone would come in, they would bring a blast of cold air with them. I had to put my jacket back on. The fries couldn’t stand up to the onslaught of cold air and cooled down far to quickly!
Once supper was done, we headed to Springfield via the Mass Turnpike. The traffic wasn’t too bad, but there was still water on the highway that made the windshield difficult to see through. Why didn’t we use the windshield washer? We did – over and over again! I began to wonder if they are treating the state roads with a new product this year. Whenever we would run the wipers to remove the water, the windshield would get a filmy coating on it that made it more difficult to see, instead of better. The only cure was to use windshield washer fluid every time we wiped the window. Still, we got there safe and sound, in relatively good time. But that coating on the windshield remains a puzzle.
The game was supposed to start at 7:30 PM. Last time we went to Springfield, they changed the start time to 8:00. This time they started at about 7:50. No explanations. Same routines – warm ups for the players, clean the ice, start the game. I wonder what that’s all about.
The Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Edmondton Oilers) played the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (affiliate of the New York Islanders). The Sound Tigers have not been doing well this season and were not expected to win the game, if you trust the experts. I hardly ever do, personally.
Period 1 was kind of “flat” for both teams, although the Sound Tigers seemed to have a bit more energy. The Sound Tigers scored at 28 seconds into the period – not a very pretty goal, but it counted. It took the air out of the Falcons sails – and the crowd. Before the end of the first period, the Sound Tigers scored again. The Falcons were not taking enough shots on goal and many, many experts agree that it’s impossible to score if you don’t shoot. They didn’t score. The scoreboard showed Sound Tigers 2, Falcons 0 at the end of the first period.
Intermission was pretty boring here, unlike most hockey venues. They threw out a few T-shirts – oooh. It might have been more interesting to be a fly on the wall of the Falcons dressing room to hear what their coach had to say. The Falcons coach is former NHL player Kelly Buchberger, who played a hard-nosed, hard-checking style of hockey. He couldn’t have been happy with the effort his team put on the ice.
Period 2 started with a hopeful burst of energy from the Falcons. A breakaway and a goal in the first couple of minutes. But that seemed to be all the Falcons could come up with. They did eventually score another goal before the game was done. Unfortunately for the Falcons, by the end of Period 3, the Sound Tigers had scored 5 more goals – including one put in for them by a Falcon’s player. The Sound Tigers obviously won the game by a score of 7-2. At least we saw some scoring, although most of the goals were easy “garbage goals.”
The officiating was not the best we’ve ever seen. The referee seemed to be able to call only a few different penalties – interference mostly, with a few slashes and roughing thrown in. The fights were easy to call – he’s have to be literally blind to miss them.
The home town fans were understandably unhappy and gave the ref an earful. Too bad the rest of us had to listen to it, too. Too bad Springfield didn’t decide to play with any significant effort until the third period. Too little, too late. They need to start shooting instead of working to get the “perfect shot” that is hardly ever there. The only Springfield player that we thought put out serious effort and worked the whole game was Sestito.
The ride home had less traffic and less mess on the road. We got home a lot faster than we got to the game. Okay, not really – but doesn’t the ride home always seem to go by faster, no matter where you’ve gone?
Today, I have to get serious, myself. In an hour, the search committee will meet to interview the first candidate. It’s weighty business – a real responsibility to the parish. I get to ask questions about her preaching style. That ought to be pretty cut and dried. It’s toward the beginning of the interview, too, so I get some time to really listen and focus on her answers to other questions.
I guess I’d better go try to make myself “presentable.” It’s getting more and more difficult with each day that passes. Mostly, I think, because I really don’t care what other people think of my looks or style. I prefer comfort.