Friday, October 19, 2007

Pens v Canes (W 4-3 SO)

YES, YES, YES!!! It's good to get this win! But tonight was supremely awesome for more than one reason. Yes, the Pens winning is always a good thing, but something else happened tonight that I'm still in shock over. To those of you who read regularly, you know that Derek, Adam, and I are working in conjunction with a donor who wishes to remain anonymous (he wishes to be identified by the alias Ted DiBiase) to distribute WWGRD wristbands. It stands for "What Would Gary Roberts Do?" We've been working really hard to get a good design, purchase the wristbands, and (most importantly) sell them as close to cost as possible. We settled on a reasonable $2.00 per wristband. The money will cover the cost of the wristbands as well as the cost of packing materials and shipping. Any money we earn beyond that will be going to charity - hopefully one that Gary Roberts himself supports. If not, it will be going to the Mario Lemieux Foundation.

So anyways, here's what happened: announcer Paul Steigerwald gave our wristbands a plug on TV during the third period of tonight's game!!!!!!! It truly doesn't get much bigger than that. We're really excited. If you'd like to be a part of the WWGRD club, visit for details. They will email you with instructions how to pay for the wristbands. We are working as hard as we can to make sure everyone that wants one gets one, so there is a 10 wristband limit. It appears that we'll be ordering more soon, so if you don't get in on this shipment, hold tight! They're coming! :) And I just want to send a BIG thank you to the folks that have ordered 10 and paid extra money specifically to give to the charity. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

OH! Right! There was a game tonight, ha ha! Well, it didn't start out well. The Canes scored 59 seconds after the puck dropped. Ryan Malone got into an early scrum with Mike Commodore, which was made all the more entertaining by the fact that Malone was wearing the microphone for FSN. He fired off a few "Wanna go, Commie?" taunts until Commadore decided to take him up on his offer. Colby Armstrong twice sacrificed his body to stop shots by Matt Cullen. A couple of breakaways (one by Malone and one by Erik Cole) were thwarted by goalies Cam Ward and Dany Sabourin, respectively. Even a linesman got in on the action: he jumped to avoid interfering with the puck and inadvertantly threw his elbow into Niclas Wallin's schnoz. Finally, with just a few minutes left in the first, Petr Sykora used a nice backhand move on a pass from Sid to put his 250th career goal in the net.

The second period began with the Pens having a one man advantage, immediately followed by another Canes penalty. But the Pens would not capitalize on either chance, and the Canes would score soon after the second penalty expired. There were a couple more penalties going back and forth, and in the night's most perplexing moment, Justin Williams was able to saunter in coolly and score on Sabourin as no less than 3 Pens basically just watched him do it - one of whom was the Saint!!! The score was now 1-3. Instantly, you could see by the look on Sid's face that he was not pleased with himself for not putting any pressure on Williams.

Yeah, that wasn't good, Sid.

Shortly thereafter, a scary moment occured. Scott Walker skated over to his bench and basically fell to his knees on the ice at the door. He stayed there as the Canes' trainers checked him out. It was strange because Steigy and Bob Errey were talking about a possible wrist injury, but to the viewer, it appeared as though Walker was on the verge of losing consciousness. After a minute or so, Adam Hall escorted the Penguins' physician out from the Pens' dressing rooms and across the ice. A stretcher was brought out, but Walker refused to get on it and instead "skated" with much aid out to the dressing room. Later it was revealed that he went to a local hospital for observation for a possible "torso injury." Does this mean an internal injury? It remains to be seen. Hopefully, he's discharged soon and back on the ice in no time.

Very shortly after play resumed, Hall scored his first goal as a Penguin, putting the score at 2-3. A few minutes later, Mark Recchi was able to draw a penalty. One minute and 37 seconds into the 2 minute penalty, Rod Brind'Amour was assessed a violation, which put the Pens at a 2 man advantage for 23 seconds. They wouldn't need that long - Sykora fires another backhander into the net, and it's a brand new hockey game. The period ends with the Pens having another 1:37 left in their power play.

I should be honest here. The third period is almost a complete blur because I was so excited about the plug from Steigy. What I can tell you is that neither team scored. The game went into overtime. Again, I was watching, but my head was somewhere else entirely (planning ahead about how we're going to handle it if a large number of people decide they want a WWGRD wristband!). I finally snapped out of it when I realized that we were headed for a shootout.

Up for the Canes: Cullen, Jeff Hamilton, and Ray Whitney.

Up for the Pens: Erik Christensen, Sykora, and the Saint.

Christensen went first. He uses the same move every time he's up, yet it works like a charm almost every time. He scores. It was Cullen's turn. He beat Sabourin with no problem. Then Sykora was up. He deked to the side and scored. Hamilton scored with as much resistance from Sabourin as Cullen faced. FINALLY, IT WAS SID'S TURN. He pulled up and used his incredible speed and unbelievable stick handling talents to bury the puck behind Ward. Now, it's Sabourin's game to win or lose. Ray Whitney tried to shoot one over Sabourin's shoulder, but HE IS DENIED. Sabourin makes a beautiful glove save, and the Pens win it!!!

Sid scores the game winner!!!

WHAT A NIGHT!!! A big win for the Pens and our little grassroots WWGRD wristband project gets a plug during an actual Penguins broadcast. This is going to be a fantastic weekend. :)

Sid and Sabu celebrate a big win!!!

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