Positive end to the weekend, Snakes fans. Knoxville came into the Snake Pit pretty down, as did the Snakes. Very different scenarios, though. The Ice Bears lost a pair of one-goal games, while the Cottonmouths were outscored 12-6 in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Dorothy said it best: There's no place like home. Even after she visited Oz and got to experience all those adventures, she was SO happy to get back to Kansas. I don't know about Kansas. Never been there and have no desire to do so. But getting back to the Snake Pit is the best.
This was a special game for me as my nephew Stephen was home on leave from Afghanistan. I've missed him so much!!! He's been gone since June...ugh. Nothing short of a miracle that the Snakes played one of their three Feb. home games while Stephen was here. YAY.
Stephen and his wife Sara got a late start and missed the first period. Uh...so did the Snakes and Ice Bears...haha. I told Stephen that all they missed was both teams trying to work out the bus legs. I told him Miss Flit and I always (well, almost always) get 2-3 goals at our end of the ice. We prefer three. Stephen just looked at me, sadly doubting his old aunt's powers. :)
Three goals later he was laughing and they were having a great time. Sara has been to a couple of hockey games, but Stephen and his family have been fans since Jerome's playing days!! After the game, I took Stephen down to the locker room with me and he got to see Jerome and meet Bret, Andrew and Sammy.
All were very kind and greeted him warmly. It was pretty ironic that two of the three guys I interviewed were Americans. They all chatted with him and Bret made a point of telling his fellow American thanks for his service to our country. That meant a lot to me.
My friend Paul Ezell is usually charged with keeping the ref and linesmen from being assaulted AND being my timekeeper. Paul was out of a job on Sunday as I had four HOURS to write the story. When I told my editor I wanted four hours every night, he said maybe the Cottonmouths could change every game to 4 o'clock. Uh...am working on that, Kevin!
Early in the first period we were introduced to the new Brody Malek hip check. Yikes! Where did that come from, Brody? He laid out at least two on unsuspecting Ice Bears. Very effective tool, Brody!
So exciting to see both the PP and the PK working on Sunday. The Snakes scored THREE on the PP and let in one. A pretty good night, I'd say.
One of the strangest plays of the game came late in the second period. Matt was in the box, giving Knoxville its first PP of the day. Andrew Gallant came all the way over to the boards and started battling Brett for the puck!! Pretty funny.
I was a little surprised that Mike Craigen pulled Gallant. I don't think it was so much that he gave up three goals, but maybe to spark his team and shake things up a little. Bryan Hince, Gallants's replacement, gave up one goal in the third.
I'll say this for Knoxville. They sure are BIG compared to the Snakes. But no way can they keep up with the Cottonmouths' speed.
Looks like the lines and defensive pairings are set for another 30 days, give or take a few. Dave looked on in street clothes as did Mitch, who was a healthy scratch.
Here's the way the guys line up these days: Orrin, Levi, Pete with Kyle and Jeff (welcome back, Jeff!); Jesse, Sam, Brett with Bret and Will; Matt, Jordan, Daryl with Tom and Brody.
Big trip to Fayetteville next weekend. Look for a story in Friday's paper with the last month of the season broken down.