Friday, October 18, 2002
Ok, show of hands, who thought Laredo would outshoot Corpus Christi? And how 'bout Memphis-Bossier, was that Game 8 of last year's playoff round or what? All I can say about Pointstreak is, where has it been all our lives? Real-time scores are good. Real-time box scores, awesome. Full box scores with individual shots and plus/minus ratings, really cool. And calling it "fisticuffs" -- a nice scrupulous traditionalist touch.
Hard to believe Ryan Anderson is going to be on a team not called the Austin Ice Bats. Saturday at the Bat Cave, they'll be raising conference and division banners. They should also announce the retirement of #11. "Skinny" can come back for a formal ceremony later, preferably against Tulsa and his brother... Glad to see Ice fans already know what a good thing they have in Ken McRae.... Also pretty neat that the Ice have roped in erstwhile IHLer Darren Pang to help out with the goalies (and give the team a mention on TV)...The Ice Bats' former doctor and ownership group is facing a lawsuit similar to the Dave Babych case, filed by Bats (and Memphis) great Mike Jackson...Too bad for Rampage fans that Stephen Weiss isn't old enough to be an AHL guy... Hey, has Craig Johnson taken his first minor yet?
I can't decide who I would rather be less on Friday: El Paso, coming into that tiny building filled to the brim with ravenous San Angelo hockey nuts ready to embrace their team again, or the Ice Bats, putting themselves in front of god knows how many (12,000? 15,000?) at Oklahoma City's Ford Center. Guess I'd rather be the Bats -- if the Blazers get dazzled by their own atmosphere and look to give the fans a show, the game could easily turn out like the only two previous meetings between these clubs, both in OKC, both convincing Austin wins. Hopefully it will be as good as the Bugs-Kings game was, regardless of who gets the points.
And I can decide where I'd rather be. Pretty sure this will be the first time I've missed Austin's opener, but given the choice between the dawn of a new building in Oklahoma City or the dawn of a new era in the Concho Valley, I'm heading for West Texas. It's three hours closer and I get to stop at Cooper's for a pork chop. I'll have a report from "The Sanctuary" sometime Saturday (could be 3am, could be 3pm).
Finally, for those who might be interested here's Ice Bats player capsules from yesterday's print edition of the Statesman.