Friday, December 03, 2004

The charity game

I was able to go with a friend to Champions for Children's Pro-Am Skate for Mott last night at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor. I had to skip Western Civilization class to do it (sorry Prof. Robinson) but sometimes hockey is more important. The raising money aspect of the event was certainly successful, with 7,000 people packing out a 6,603-seat arena. If that doesn't show a how much people miss hockey, I don't know what does. I won't give a detailed recap of the game since I didn't take notes and was there just to have fun. -- Sergei Fedorov was there, which was a surprise since his name was not listed in the paper. I heard a rumor going around that his girlfriend, Tara Reid, was there too but I don't know for sure if she was or not. Apparently, Chris Chelios is responsible for Sergei being on the team. He called the organizer, David Roberts, and asked if he had a roster spot open 24 hours befoe the game started. He was cheered just as much as anybody when his name was announced during player introductions. When the announcers called him a former-Red Wing and current Mighty Duck, Chris Chelios, who was standing right next to him, gave him a funny look. -- Steve Yzerman obviously got the loudest cheering of all the players. People were standing up and starting to cheer even before his name was announced. The Captain looked good and the visor did not seem in hinder his play very much at all. -- Kid Rock was there and dropped the first puck. -- Chris Chelios didn't play any defense, as far as I could tell, all night. Instead, he was center/winger/cherry picker and the brunt of most of the announcers' jokes. He was able to break in on the USA goalie twice but both times was absolutely stuffed, much to the delight of everyone in the stands. His restaurant, Cheli's Chili Bar, was plugged shamelessly by the announcers, one of whom jokingly said he was getting paid $2 each time he mentioned it. -- The whole atmosphere was very fun and easy going. It had a good, pick-up game feel and though the pros pretty much dominated, it wasn't in a mean way. They played pretty casually and just showed a wealth of experience that the U18's hopefully learned from. The kids were pretty talented and made some good plays themselves but rarely were able to finish. Everyone cheered when the pros scored, just as every cheered when the U18's scored. Manny made that a little harder though with his quick glove hand but they got two by him eventually. I definitely enjoyed the game and it made me realize even more just how much I miss hockey. I really hope the meeting next week produces a positive result because time is running out.


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