It is a thing with me that I need to be in my seat by around 5:50pm when there is a 7pm game. Mitchell never lets me down as he sits on the bench and wraps his stick ( I think that is what he is doing ) . He usually goes back in around 6pm to get suited up for the game.
So, with a late start with the introduction of the players, the puck is dropped and once again a new season begins. With high hopes of a new coaching staff and newly acquired players, I sit in anticipation of going home with a 2 points in the Bears column.
While watching the game, I think to myself... where are the guys from preseason that skated all over the other teams. Where was the guy in front of the net, why so many turnovers and why are we losing 2-0?
We had power play after power play and barely got a shot on goal. I think the other team had more shots on goal on their penalty kills. My mind is telling me, I hope the coach reads them the riot act during first intermission. At least during the first period the crowd was pumped by not only one, but two Rechlicz brawls. It was early though. The team did have time to bounce back...
Period two started off with a goal by Nate Schmidt. About 9 minutes later the Bears were on a penalty kill. I am thinking, great, this is not going to be good. Next thing I know, Michael Latta steals the puck away and takes a cruise down center ice and SCORES a shorty! We are now tied at 2 and there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Not five minutes later we are on another penalty kill. Me, the skeptic, cannot even fathom another shorty. After all, on the power plays, we could barely get a shot on goal. Derek Whitmore doesn't let us down... he scores a shorthanded goal and the first lead of the season happens. I find myself hoping for another penalty thinking third time is a charm. Well, we get the kill on a questionable penalty on Grubauer. Of course you can't have a season opener without the BS chant from the crowd. After all, we had two fights, two shorthanded goals, a one point lead...you gotta throw the chant in there. We get to experience all the fun of going to hockey in one night except for one thing.... we lose the game in OT.
With three minutes left in the regulation play, Adirondack scores and ties the game.
You know the rest of the story....
Listening to the coach on the post game show on our way home from the game, Coach Mike says the guys came out nervous. Basically white knuckling the sticks and let the Phantoms skate all around them. He said this game will serve as a training exercise this week and they will learn from their mistakes.
We don't have another home game until the 26th...I guess I can wait that long. Although, I will be watching the away games on AHL Live.