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:
Past the Legends of Huntsville Hockey festivities:
Wait, this can’t be right….
I mean, I was walking past dumpsters. And this is how we get into the arena?
Even the entrance is marked exit:
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.
The arena is split into a lower and upper level, with a walkway going 3/4 of the way around the bowl.
But the lower bowl looks pretty nice, and has some table seating by the glass.
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.
Finally, I got to my seat, on the risers on the end of the rink:
But the view was great, even with the goal judge box in the way:
Meet 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.
All the way down the ice:
The Canucks have their green men, the Wichita Thunder have their one lone blue guy, and the Havoc… have this:
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.
I’m posting this photo for Doogie2K. The Calgary Hitmen travel well.
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.