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The rarely updated blog of Joel Dixon
< Travel Log - Day 10 (Pittsburgh at last!) | Travel Log - Day 12 (Mr. Dixon goes to Washington) >

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Travel Log - Day 11 (Best NHL Game Ever - Mach II)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 19/07/2006 15:38:00
Updated by Joel Dixon at 31/10/2018 03:32:05

I was excited waking up on day 10, waking up on day 11 was twice as bad. I actually woke up quite early - a fair few hours before Bell - so I just read a book I had recently purchased.

When Bell finally woke up we decided to see a bit of the City of Pittsburgh. From the hotel room we could see that there was a fair bit of snow cover on the city, which was exciting. Even better - when we stepped outside our hotel room it was actually snowing. In Niagara Falls it was snowing - but really, that was the equivalent of a small spit. This was an actual fall - admittably not pissing down - but definately decent. I rather enjoyed holding my open hands up to the sky and collecting the snow. As a kid I always liked the idea of snow - the most we ever got in Melbourne was a very heavy hail storm - so this was great.

Something that I was entirely unprepared for was the amount of support the town gave to the Steelers. I had read on message boards that Pittsburgh was "Stillers Town" - but I was very surprised. Pretty much 1 out of every 3 or 4 people had some article of Steelers clothing on. Everyone from grandmothers to children was proudly displaying the Steelers name. There was also a lot of Penguin clothing (much more than I'd ever see in Australia) - but it was a little bit of a letdown.

We walked around the city - the first stop was the (now retired) Kaufmann's department store. The first thing I noticed was that half of the store staff were wearing Steelers jerseys as their uniforms (none of them were wearing Penguins jerseys though). We bought me two pairs of shoes (very cheap - and Pittsburgh has no sales tax on clothing) and two extra suitcases to store all of the crap we bought at the Penguins store. There was also a nice cafe in the middle of the store and I filled up on soda spiders. We just had a great day out.

At the end of the trip Belinda and I both agreed that Pittsburgh was one of the nicest cities we'd visited on the trip. The people were great, food was nice and (though it's probably got a lot to do with the snow) the place just looked beautiful. Whenever I list the honeymoon destinations (New York, Niagara Falls, Washington, Pittsburgh) I get a "Why Pittsburgh?". Originally the answer would just be "hawkey" - but now I could honestly say it was a great place to visit. We didn't even end up seeing much more of Pittsburgh than downtown - but it was great fun. I'm looking forward to returning (and Bell is too - which is wonderful)!

Anyway - the most important part of day 11 was the chance to watch the Penguins play at home. About a half-hour before the game's start time we walked around the corner to Mellon Arena. The atmosphere was incredible, and every second person had a Pens jersey on (with about a quarter of those having Crosby's number 87). Afterwards Bell and I both agreed that the Pittsburgh game was so much more of a show, and much more enjoyable (even though it was great in New York). Cheerleaders, free T-Shirts and a mini radio controlled blimp were some of the things that anyone could enjoy - not just fans of hockey.

Not as fancy as the Madison Square Garden display (a few extra dead pixels) but it was a great sight!

How cool are these! And note the Pen's credit card in the background

A few warmups going on behind me

The Penguin's cheerleaders shooting t-shirts from a slingshot. Iceburgh was also firing t-shits from a bazooka contraption

The Verizon blimp was dropping some kind of vouchars. One dropped right in front of me - but kids snatched it up before I got a chance (and then ran back to their seats on the other side of the stand - bastards!)

"My dad drives the zamboni"

Go you big skating penguin!

Anyway - another dot-point summary of the game:

  • I saw a few people wearing Steelers jerseys to the game - poor form!
  • I was happy to see Fleury starting in net again, and he played a great game again.
  • The Penguins were robbed early, and I was pissed off. Marcus Nilson's shot hit the crossbar and lay on the goal line - but didn't cross it. Many players on the ice could clearly see that the puck didn't go in - and quickly protested. The referee called the goal and they didn't even go to the video referees for clarrification. 1-0 Calgary.
  • Pittsburgh then tied it up with a spectacular backhander goal by Sidney Crosby. I was extremely happy that I got to witness Crosby scoring - and it was a plus that Mario Lemieux had the second assist on the goal.
  • Langkow scored two early third period goals to put Calgary ahead 3-1 both from great assists from Huselius.
  • Midway through the 3rd I saw Ryan VandenBussche's first NHL goal to bring it up to 3-2.
  • We pulled the goalie towards the end of the game to attempt to score a tying goal - but alas, it was not to be. Made the first non-goal so much more difficult to stomache!

Opening faceoff - people were still only just getting to their seats. What a waste!

Iceburgh stood up right in front of us. I didn't have the heart to yell "down in front" to him! (so I just pushed him)

More Iceburgh
I'm not 100% - but I think Iceburgh is trying to score here

Again, watching a Penguins game was awesome - it was just a bitch that we lost. Once we left Mellon Arena, we saw that it had been snowing all through the game, and the ground was just covered! Most of the Pens fans were huddled together, head down, running towards their cars. Bell and I were running around playing in the snow, it was quite fun. We even made snow angels!

This is the 12th in the Honeymoon Travel Log series
Day 0 - Travel Log - Day 0 (Flights)Day 1 - Travel Log - Day 1 (New York, New York)Day 2 - Travel Log - Day 2 (Thanksgiving)Day 3 - Travel Log - Day 3 (I can't believe it got colder)Day 4 - Travel Log - Day 4 (What is the deal with "New" York anyway?)Day 5 - Travel Log - Day 5 (J-Dix on the six)Day 6 - Travel Log - Day 6 (Niagara Falls, eh?)Day 7 - Travel Log - Day 7 (Wet Wet Wet)Day 8 - Travel Log - Day 8 (New York, New York ... again)Day 9 - Travel Log - Day 9 (Best NHL Game Ever!)Day 10 - Travel Log - Day 10 (Pittsburgh at last!)Day 11 - Travel Log - Day 11 (Best NHL Game Ever - Mach II)Day 12 - Travel Log - Day 12 (Mr. Dixon goes to Washington)Day 13 - Travel Log - Day 13 (Mr. Dixon ... stays in Washington)Day 14 - Travel Log - Day 14 (Washington Zoo-lander)Day 15 - Travel Log - Day 15 (A Day at the Musuems)Day 16 - Travel Log - Day 16 (Worst NHL Game Ever)Day 17 - Travel Log - Day 17 (A kid in a candy-filled toy store)Day 18 - Travel Log - Day 18 (The only game that really matters)Day 19 - Travel Log - Day 19 (Fare thee well America) Back to Top


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