With the Great Lakes Hockey League only playing on the weekends and my time in the northern parts of the US coming to an end, I had one more game available to me, the Monroe Blues. There was no way I was going to pass up the chance.
Last time I saw the Monroe Blues was last year in West Bend, and they were shut out 16 – 0. That I would see these two teams meet up again (and that West Bend would be one of the teams in all 3 GLHL games I’ve seen) was pure chance. But what would happen this time.
Monroe, WI has a decisively Swiss bent to it. They are, according to Wikipedia, the Swiss Cheese Capitol of the USA. How much more Swiss could you get? How about this Swiss?
This is where I had dinner before the game. I recommend the 2nd Best Chili (2nd only to Mom’s, as my server said).
But we have a hockey game to get to. Welcome to The Slice.
While I was getting my camera ready in the parking lot, a few cars were pulling in with players taking out their gear. It was mostly West Bend players. They have to get themselves to the arena. Not so for the Monroe Blues. They have a team bus.
Players pay $10 to ride the bus to and from their games. A pretty good deal when you have to head to the upper peninsula of Michigan for games sometimes.
Now, I know what you are thinking, that’s a school bus that’s been painted, big deal. You have to realize that this isn’t the NHL. This isn’t the minors either. The players pay to play in this league, less than what you would pay for a season of rec league hockey, but they still pay to play. They might get different deals depending on the team they play with (skate sharpening, discounted gear, etc). Or they might not. These are players and teams who do it for the love of the game. While the fans pay to see the games, it’s a minuscule amount. Costs like ice time for the games add up quickly, as well as promotion, team jerseys, etc. So a team bus is a real perk.
Let’s head inside.
What struck me right away was how low the ceiling was. There would be no flipping the puck up and out of the zone here.
The Fon du Lac Bears had a pretty substantial beer sales area. The Slice had this.
That’s New Glarus Spotted Cow and Rhinelander Light for $3. I don’t know Rhinelander, but Spotted Cow is a substantial beer. That’s a good beer for $3.
The food options are limited but also good deals. I had a freshly baked cookie for 75 cents. I love that it doubles as a pro shop.
Banners and trophies around the rink.
You know, basic rec rink. This is no frills hockey.
Do not adjust your glasses, Avalanche fans. That is not the newly leaked logo for the Avs. This is the Monroe Avalanche, the high school team. But I like what they’ve done to it.
Alright, let’s hit the ice. Time for some first period action!
And… um… oh… That’s one way to start a game.
More after the jump. Can’t have 800 photos take over the main page of the blog. Hit that link.