Sunday, January 13, 2013

Edmonton Oilers Shinny

Late Saturday night Chrissy's BFF phoned us and told us to not make plans for late afternoon today (Sunday). She was short on details but ensured us there was a very cool event that was going to be going on - but she couldn't tell us what it was.

I be-grudgingly agreed to go along with this even though I would end up missing some of the NFL Playoff games that would be going down. Now why would I do that? Because Chrissy's BFF has family connections to the Oilers.

And early this afternoon we learned that the event was indeed very cool - an outdoor Edmonton Oilers shinny game at William Hawrelak Park...and we had special VIP seating.

So...Chrissy and I bundled up and headed out to the Park/Rink.

We got there shortly before 4 o'clock and ushered ourselves into a spot near the walkway connecting the 'dressing room' to the ice surface.

After playing on many outdoor ponds, lakes, and small town rinks I can identify bad & good ice. It was easy to see that the Oilers crew had put a lot of effort into the playing surface. It looked really fast and smooth. We were going to get a good show.

Hockey players coming through.

The game was really fast and it was quite fun to watch the players pull out the odd dangle or perfect saucer pass. 

More than anyone else Smitty looked like he was really enjoying himself. It was fun to see him hamming it up and celebrating the Blue teams goals.

I am a Hordichuk fan and one of my highlights of the day was his rifling it off the post from about a foot away. The big guy was even snake-bit playing shinny.

Just really simple things like Hall taking a first couple of steps or Gagner doing a quick backhand to forehand and flip into the small net was remarkable to see so up close. They are all little things but as a stay at home defencemen (aka - no hands) that plays rec-hockey it's almost beyond comprehension for me just how skilled they are.

After about 45 minutes the bullhorn siren went off and the Oilers gathered at centre ice to salute the fans, hand out some swag and sign some autographs.

All of the fans that came out seemed to have a great time, whether it was gleefully yelling at Hemsky to shoot, chanting Nuuuuuuuge, or encouraging Dubnyk to pot a goal. 

I know that our friends had a great time and memories were made as a group....

as a Father and son checking out the action while keeping warm on the bails....

as BFF's braving the cold together to watch some good ol' hockey.

In closing I would like to say thanks to the Oilers, thanks to Zac, thanks to the Days. We had a great time. 
Hopefully we will do it all again next year. Seriously...Oilers, do this every year!

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