Thursday, December 13, 2012

Recap: Terrier Alumni Game

Today, most of you probably spent your afternoon recovering from 12/12/12 hangovers, preparing for finals next week, and lamenting the fact that Agganis will not be filled with screaming Terrier fans for several weeks. Unless you're me or GW or one additional Dog Pound affiliate, who snuck into the Jack Parker Rink to enjoy an afternoon of hockey scrimmaging between Terrier alumni and the current players.

It was pretty awesome. Here's a brief recap & photos of the action.

My two favorite parts of the afternoon were easily:
1. Parker's chirps and casual attitude with the players and refs. He's always so serious during games, alternating between cold, reserved, calculating stoicism and awesome outbursts of furious shouting (usually directed at zebras). It was cool to see him laughing during a game.
2. Jay Pandolfo's children. Pandolfo's wife and kid(s) were at the rink to enjoy the game as well and I feel obligated to tell you that his son Sammy is probably the most adorable human being I've ever encountered in my life. Trying desperately to yell encouraging words at his father who had a -1000% chance of hearing him, always involved in the game, and playing with another youngster who I assume was his brother. They each got a puck from dad as a souvenir and Sammy asked, "Daddy, did you slash him before? Are you going in the penalty box?" I lost it.

I don't care how creepy it seems that we snagged a picture of Jay and his son talking hockey after the 1st period. The world needed to know. Sammy Pandolfo is the best. He made me even more conflicted about Pandolfo as a player (former Terrier, but also former NJ Devil AND current Islander. Ugh).

Sammy is the best. Also, cameo by Yipper.

Team Scarlet/Team Maguire was mostly alumni and Team White/Team Moccia was mostly current Terriers. The two teams traded each other's D-men but the forwards were basically the same. As you might have expected if you've ever watched the NHL All Star game or played shinny or other pickup hockey, it was a high-scoring affair. That's not to say that the players weren't bringing the fire, though. You still had active NHLers, NHL drafted prospects and elite D1 talent all playing together, ripping shots and yes, breaking the glass. GW and I missed the actual incident, which happened in warm-ups just before we got to Parker Rink, but we snagged a couple of photos of the glass and the repair after the first period. QQ was too busy not leaving work to come watch. Puss.

Things started off slowly as Maguire worked to preserve his shutout streak at home. He faced Anthony Moccia at the other end, who hasn't seen regular season playing time behind OC and Mags but looked sharp nonetheless. It was a non-checking pickup game, to be clear, so chirping was in good fun and nobody was laying out big hits or anything. Brandon Yip was the first to tally, and the alumni team all gave him the standard "YIP YIP YIPs" on his way back to the bench. Awesome.

Eventually the scoring erupted and all of a sudden we had a 3-0, 4-1, 5-4 game, with plenty of fun being had by both teams. Guys were trying awesome dekes and ridiculous plays that they'd never have a chance to mess around with during a real game situation. Parker chirped Keenan and Millea (yes, there were actual Hockey East officials reffing the game) which was amazing. Down 9-8 in the final two minutes, Team Scarlet pulled Mags for the extra attacker. The last couple of minutes were played very tight, as the competitive nature of the players took over, and the last minute+ of play was entirely in the White end. Moccia and the white sweaters eventually held on to their lead to win it, with the GWG going to Cason Hohmann (TEXAS TOAST!)

Other notes:

  • Sahir Gill scored a hat trick on Maguire, some of which were real beauties. Both teams immediately knew it was Giller's third when the puck hit the net. By the time we realized (it was tough to keep track of all the goals, especially with numberless practice jerseys) Keenan was already dropping the puck at center ice. And so I missed the chance to be an asshole and toss my hat on the ice. Sahir! Sa-there! He's Sa-everywhere!
  • Scooby embellished intentionally to poke fun with the refs. He took a light tap to the leg and sprawled out across the ice, clutching his knee before chirping the nearest ref, who laughed back at him. Pretty awesome to see them joking around considering Parker's recent controversial statements about HEA diving.
  • Santana wheeled around the zone for like 20 seconds with the puck, dangling opponents' sticks before dishing the puck and crashing the net to backhand one past Mags' blocker. I want to see that happening in a regular season game now.
  • The Yips being shouted by the players.
  • Again, Pandolfo's kid(s) are awesome.
  • Stick salute at the end of the game, directed entirely at us and the Pandolfo family. Between the 6 or so of us, the only ones in the entire arena. I'm not sure the team knew why or how we were sitting in the stands watching this game but they were laughing during the salute. Cool stuff.

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