Connecticut - Whale Bowl - Alumni & Whale/Bruins games
Whale Bowl - Alumni and Whale/Bruins Games
The alumni game was divided into two 25-minute halves with a running clock. Given the weather, that wasn't terrible, but it did mean that potentially less than 20 minutes of hockey would be played in either half. The first half turned out to be the competitive half, leading to a 3-2 Whalers edge that I'll label a win. Given the age of some of these players, it's no surprise that the second half turned out to be more laid back and less serious.
That's a Whalers goal. The puck is in the net.
Back to the game, through the first half. I'm surprised the Bruins couldn't raise enough alumni for the game, but the celebrity fill-ins do a decent job.
Pucky and Sonar greet all the players as they come in for the second half. Thanks to the layout of Rentschler Field and the rink, everyone uses the same entrance. Fortunately, even in the games that matter, adversaries play nicely when confronted with this situation. Whalers players come out dressed in their original New England WHA jerseys, while the Bruins are still bees.
The cast of Slap Shot also comes out, and they arrange the upcoming antics with Boston's goalie and a few others. Unfortunately for those of us who came to see hockey, this sets the tone for the rest of the half. At least 10 minutes of the 25 was wasted on them, probably closer to 15 when you take into account the net stoppage. As I said, I consider this game a 3-2 Whalers win. (Couldn't they have done this as a halftime show?)
Ha, everyone plays along, whee, this is supposed to be fun, right? The clock ticks and I don't get to watch the Hartford Whalers.
With the goon squad relegated to the penalty box, there's opportunity for some actual play.
They came out of the penalty box and did more predictable antics before being carted off. More time wasted. I debated deleting these photos, but figured I ought not rewrite history. I just wish I could.
A bit more hockey, penalty shot stopped, tie game, everybody hugs, and we clear the ice for the second real game.
Pregame fireworks keep the crowd entertained, and possibly a little warmer just for watching something that looks like fire, while the Whale and Bruins warm up.
For once, being in a stuffy mascot costume for an entire day is enviable.
The players come back for the 3rd period and I take my only game photos of the AHL contest. As usual, and as reflected in Pucky's T-shirt, the chant "Let's Go Whale" always came with the ending "ers". For one day, for one half of one exhibition game, that chant was still appropriate. Hopefully it will come back one day.
Pregame and alumni warmups
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