Huntsville Havoc vs. Pensacola Ice Pilots: My First SPHL Game

Near the end of the season, I diverted to Huntsville, AL to take in a SPHL game, the first I had ever seen of that league.  I’d been through Huntsville a few times, but never to see a game.

Yesterday,  I showed you a few of the ‘lovely’ trophies the various Huntsville teams had won (and abused), but not the game.  This post will correct that.

The path to the arena was one of the strangest I have ever been in.  Construction routed us around to… well, you can see for yourself.

To the box office:

Main Hall

Past the Legends of Huntsville Hockey festivities:

WH014

Umm…. OK…..

End of Hall

Wait, this can’t be right….

What?

I mean, I was walking past dumpsters.  And this is how we get into the arena?

Nice Place

Even the entrance is marked exit:

WH022

The concourse looks decidedly seventies sci-fi.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find out they built the place for filming scenes from Buck Rogers.  I loved it.  Of course there’s chuck a puck.

beede-beede-beede

The arena is split into a lower and upper level, with a walkway going 3/4 of the way around the bowl.

WH028

But the lower bowl looks pretty nice, and has some table seating by the glass.

WH030

My journey was not complete, since I was sitting behind the goal.  So I took the long and strange walk to my seat.  The blue curtains hid the construction going on.  I think it’s going to be a pretty nice place when they are done.

WH035

WH037

Finally, I got to my seat, on the risers on the end of the rink:

WH042

But the view was great, even with the goal judge box in the way:

WH039

Meet Ryan Scott:

Ryan Scott

Poor Ryan got heckled the entire game.  Whenever the rush started, the fans behind me yelled “Look out, Scott!”  “That was close, Scott!”  Even just the random, “SCOTT!” for no other reason than to yell is name.  The night even included one of the greatest heckles of a goalie I have ever heard, even if it was a bit sexist.

The kids in front of me weren’t that amused at first, but they came around.  The one on the right kept saying, “Seriously?” But considering the look on his face, I don’t think he meant it.

Seriously!

All the way down the ice:

WH049

Mascots!

WH057

The Canucks have their green men, the Wichita Thunder have their one lone blue guy, and the Havoc… have this:

Wolf Dude has Nards

He kept the mask on the entire game. At one point, he ran around the arena  with his flag, and the kids chased him.  Hey, you gotta have your traditions, I guess.

WH051

I’m posting this photo for Doogie2K. The Calgary Hitmen travel well.

Hitmen Jersey

The game ended in a shootout, without a single fighting major.  Take that, haters.  In fact, the level of play wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.  There were plenty of missed passes, missed opportunities, and defensive breakdowns, but there was a lot to like about the game as well.  The problem with the NHL is that it can be so over-coached, you wait for a mistake to create a scoring chance.  There were plenty of mistakes, but also plenty of chances the entire game.  Overall, I had a great time.

Thanks to Christopher Joy (aka SCOTT!) for the invite.  I can’t wait to go to another game with him.

Here’s the game sheet.

Comments

  1. Oh, just you wait. It’ll be on when we attend another game together. We need to drag along our buddy, Jay to yell #Scott with us. Most fun I had at a game all season. The kids in front of and behind us really livened it up, but you got some good heckles in yourself. Good times.

Speak Your Mind