12.31.2006

Hockey Talk


I watched a lot of UVM hockey when I lived in Burlington. My first employer had tickets (he still goes to games, I see him there, alone) and introduced me the sport -- prior, I had never seen a live hockey game in my life. The first games I went to were when Martin St. Louis and Eric Perrin were freshmen... which was an auspicious time to start going to games, although it probably set some unrealistic expectations as after they graduated, the program fell on relatively hard times and was affected by a hazing scandal.


My main source of tickets was my neighbor in my condominium in Burlington. He was a single guy with a single ticket and a really unfortunate job situation: He worked on a road crew in the summer, and plowed snow in the winter at the IBM plant in Essex Junction. I learned from experience that it didn't take much for his pager to go off... meaning that he was expected to show up and plow. Just a few passing clouds and lonely snowflakes would be enough and a hockey ticket would show up under my door.


Now, of course, I have moved and no longer can easily score free hockey tickets. I did have a ticket to the 2006 holiday tournament, the students are gone so more seats are available to the general public. Even though it was a snowy night my ex-neighbor was there -- turns out he hurt his shoulder working, and is on disability. I was very curious to learn how the new owner of my condo was liking her new place and he filled me in on that situation. It felt like old times to be at a game on a winter night and to ride the shuttle again over to the hospital lot on campus.


I brought my camera (no surprise there) and it worked surprisingly well. It really isn't too good at indoor scenes and is 'noisy' at higher ISO settings, but these images have been only minimally processed -- just brightened. The shots of UVM goalie Joe Fallon are pretty impressive as they were taken at a distance of about 250 feet (cross the rink) and are a testimony to the lens on the camera. I was sitting behind netting and had to use manual focus (which is awkward on this camera) to avoid pictures of fishnets and nothing else.

UVM played St. Cloud St. (ranked in the top ten, nationally) and played well in the 1st period and played desperate in the 3rd but got beat up pretty bad in the 2nd period... and lost 4-2, the last goal was an open-net situation.


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