Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hartford Wolfpack @ Albany Devils 10/25/13

As I mentioned HERE, going to Albany Devils game is fairly cheap, as well as fairly easy for me. Recently, I went to the Times Union Center for a game between the Devils and the Hartford Wolfpack,  AHL affiliate of the New York Rangers.

I went with one of my friends, and we had gotten tickets right next to the tunnel where this visitors would walk onto the ice. Since the game was on a Friday, tickets were only $10 each because we are college students. Included with the tickets was a voucher for a $1 hot dog and $1 soda.

After we each paid $2 for our hot dog and soda, my friend and I went to our seats just in time to catch the end of warm-ups. Once there, we were in a good spot to watch all the players run down the tunnel toward the locker room. As recently demoted Arron Asham was heading to the locker room, a fan asked him to sign something, and to my surprise, Asham obliged. I've never seen a hockey player in full uniform and skates sign something for someone after warm-ups, but Asham signed a card for the fan, as you can see on the right, and went on his way. If you are wondering about me, I'll get to that later.

As for the game, Hartford took an early lead and then Albany responded against a goalie that had never played an AHL game before. After one period the score was tied 1-1. When the Wolfpack took the ice, I took blurry photos of them running down the runway like the one on the left.

In the second period, the Albany offense exploded, scoring three goals against Hartford goalie Jeff Malcolm. The Devils maintained a 4-1 lead going into the third period.

In the third period, Hartford put up a good fight, scoring two goals to cut the lead to 4-3, but they couldn't get the equalizer and the Devils got the 4-3 win. Harri Pesonen had two penalty shots for the Devils, but couldn't put either one in the net.

Earlier, one of my friends had told me where the players exit is at the Times Union Center. Sure enough, I walked to where he told me it would be, and the bus was waiting for the visiting Phantoms. I had printed out 8.5x11 logo photos for both the Wolfpack and Devils. I walked to within 10 feet of the door where the players would be leaving, and the waiting began.

The first player to walk through the door was Darroll Powe, a healthy scratch for the Wolfpack. He signed my team photo and also signed an index card for me. I brought the index cards for random players that I would want more than one of and for people I didn't print a photo for. You can see the index card on the left.

I also got index cards of Brodie Dupont and Danny Kristo, top Rangers prospects playing for the Wolfpack.

After Powe, one of the first players to come out to the bus was Arron Asham himself. Asham had left the game in the middle of the third period, and I was worried that he had been traded or injured and wouldn't be there. But, when I asked him why he wasn't there, Asham said he pulled his groin. He signed two 4x6 photos for me and then took a very blurry picture with me. I met him about a decade ago when he was an Islander and I was a member of the Islanders booster club, and it was good to meet him again. I also got a photo of him on the Flyers, where he is fighting Cam Janssen, who is now playing for Albany. You can see that photo below. I didn't get Janssen's autograph on this day, but I should get it another day.

After that, another former Islander, Aaron Johnson, came out and signed for everyone. I had his headshot from when he was an Islander many years ago, and he signed that as well as my Rangers logo photo. I had a new gold marker and wanted to try it out, and it doesn't look that bad.

Shortly after Johnson got on the bus, the person I had been waiting all night for walked out the door. Micheal Haley, current Ranger and former Islander, came outside with a few of his teammates. If you don't recognize his name, maybe THIS will help remind you. And if that doesn't trigger your memory, click HERE. I wasn't sure if it was him, so I asked, "Micheal?" He responded by walking right over to me and signing a few photos that I printed out, as well as a puck. One of the photos is of Haley fighting Cam Janssen. A big assist goes to my friend for getting the puck signed for me. Haley also took a photo with me. You can see the other Haley autographs I got at the bottom of this entry.

As the night went on, many players from both teams came out and signed for the four or five people that were there. I wish I could remember who the player on the right is, but I can't. I know it is a Devil, but I can't put a name to the face. After a while, my friend and I thought it would be time to go, but we wanted to wait another two minutes in case someone else walked out. As we took our first steps away from the arena, Sergei Brylin came walking out the door. He signed for everyone, as you can see in the video below. Brylin is a special assistant for the Devils organization, and he was watching the game.

After getting Brylin, my friend and I took the bus back to campus and called it a night. Here are the autographs I didn't already picture.

Here are the team photos I got signed.

Albany Devils:
#31 Scott Wedgewood #14 Reid Boucher
#9 Joe Whitney  #10 Rod Pelley
#26 Mike Hoeffel #12 Tim Sestito
#26 Dan Kelly #15 Harri Pesonen
#16 Chris McKelvie #2 Seth Helgeson
Sergei Brylin Signed under the word Devils in this photo.

Hartford Wolfpack:
#6 Andrew Yogan #17 Darroll Powe #16 Oscar Lindberg
#22 Andrew Rowe #44 Aaron Johnson #29 Danny Kristo
#5 Tommy Hughes #24 Brendan Nash #91 Brodie Dupont
#4 Conor Allen #8 Dylan McIlrath #26 Ryan Borque
#3 Sam Klassen #25 Danny Syvret #15 Marek Hrivik
#18 Michael St. Croix
Former Ranger Jeff Beukeboom signed on the bottom. His signature is sideways going onto the bottom of the word Rangers.

I'll be back at the Times Union Center in a few weeks. Thanks for reading. Good Luck Graphing!

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