Columbus Cottonmouths

Smiling Faces

      Good morning...and it finally is a GOOD morning...Snakes fans. So great to see nothing but smiling faces all around last night! :)

      Update: the announcement was made last night that the delayed St. Patrick's Day jerseys will be worn by the players and auctioned off on Friday, March 22. They'll only be worn on that Friday night, not both nights. After Saturday's finale, both sets of regular-season jerseys will be auctioned. I haven't seen the St. Patrick's day jerseys in person...uh, nobody has...but the mock-up looks really good. Those of you who collect jerseys, get your checkbooks ready!

      Now, to last night's game. First, in the weird department. Jerome told me the previous night that he was signing soldier/defenseman Marcel Alvarez to a three-gamer. I was glad to hear that as I knew Tom Maldonado and Chris Bailer, both defensemen, would be sidelined for the weekend. A historic event would be the Snakes playing Saturday night with a full roster...or not.

     Marcel was out for warmups. I saw him...number 5, with Alvarez on his back. Really. I noted that John Sullivan had been reunited with Matt Gingera and Jordan Braid, but didn't write down all three starting lines as I usually do.

     Later in the first period, I realized I hadn't seen Marcel. Miss Flit, Joe and I all saw him during warmups and Miss Flit thought she saw him out for a regular shift, but wasn't sure. My first thought was "there goes the full roster". My second was "geeeeeez, guys will quit signing with this team if even its fill-ins get hurt...". haha. But I was pretty sure I hadn't seen Marcel and the trainer, Ashley Landi,leave the ice.

     Found out later that Jerome only thought he'd signed Marcel. He was informed by the league office that you can't sign a player to a three-gamer within a week of when you waive him...UGH. Marcel was waived, after one of several quick jaunts to Gwinnett, on March 4. So, anytime after the 11th, Jerome can sign him again. Which, hopefully, is a moot point as he'll soon have too many players rather than not enough.

     I spoke to Tom and Chris and both said they're fine, good, or whatever they thought would end the questioning...haha. Don't know why I ask when they pretty much LIE. :) Not only to me, but to Jerome, the trainer, their mamas...anything to stay on the ice. Don't try to figure out why. They just love to play the game. Period.

     Pretty soon the Snakes will have a full roster. Actually, they'll have an overflowing roster. The numbers won't fit and Jerome will have a different kind of tough decision to make. Right now, both Tom and Chris are unhealthy scratches. Both, of course, are still on the active roster. Daniel Amesbury for Brett Hammond was an even roster slot swap, but when Tommy Fitzpatrick comes back, as early as tomorrow, somebody else has to go. I have my guesses, but have never speculated on those kinds of decisions in the past and don't plan to start now. Keep in mind, though, when Jerome makes the decision it will be with the playoffs in mind.

     Still laughing about Andrew Loewen last night. Not about yet another stellar performance and an end to the losing streak, but about Andrew channeling his inner Chad Rycroft. Those of you who've been around for a while remember Chad and his feisty nature. Anybody who got too close to his crease got a couple of good whacks to the back of his legs. It was fun to watch. Chad always knew where the ref was and rarely got caught...haha. Back to Andrew, the SPHL's top far.

     The team has been losing. After winning 11 in a row, Andrew has been losing. The laid-back surfer boy, dancing goalie, smiling fan favorite had had enough. The two incidents I mentioned in this morning's story (on-line only because of early deadlines...the paper went to bed early, too!) were so funny to watch, mainly because they're so not-Andrew. When Kosolofsky gave him a snow shower...and I mean a good one, not just a little "oh I didn't mean to" spraying of ice, Andrew took off after him. SO funny. Didn't ask Andrew what he planned to do if he caught him!! 

     The other one was when a Surge player sailed a shot way high and Andrew gave him a sarcastic, borderline taunting tap of the stick. It was awesome. I know Andrew is as fierce a competitor as there is in the SPHL, but it was nice to actually see some of that fire on the ice. Go, Andrew!!

     So glad to see the 9-10-21 line back together. I think those 3 guys have such a great chemistry and once John gets his timing back (3 assists...great start!) this will be the line to beat. Last night it racked up 7 points. Not a bad night's work. :)

     Had to wait a few minutes to talk to Kevin Kessler. Grabbed John, Andrew and Matt as they left the ice after the stars of the game ceremony, but my message to Kevin kept getting lost on the very long walk from the door to the inside of the lockerroom...haha. Kevin was still beaming after scoring his first goal of the season at the best possible time. He was hitting early and often too, setting the tone for a very physical game. Congrats to Kevin!! I know my pals Dave Kessler and Danny Spencer were jumping out of their seats with excitement...YAY.

      Two great crowds this weekend. Sam Bowles was honored with his own bobblehead. His mom and dad, Liza and Don, made the trip from Maryland for the occasion. I ran into them the last time they visited, but didn't see them this time. Derek Pallardy's family was also in town and Derek rewarded them with a solid weekend's work. It's fun to see the players' family members visit and even better when they have something to celebrate, like last night!

     How great was it to see sweet Whitney Mixon on the microphone last night. Whitney worked in the Snakes front office until this past summer and made a cameo appearance last night when her pal Andy Luker was in a friend's wedding. Alas, the video screen was not functioning. Wonder if Whit would have danced with Wanda and company. No dancing goalie on this night. He was rather busy...

      Ironic isn't it. Now we all get a break and I, for one, don't want one. I want to see more hockey like I did last night. Want to see 2 and 28 back on the blue line. Want to see a full, settled roster and 5 more Ws. How about ya'all?

     Stay tuned.