Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Teddy Bears' Picnic - Gwinett Gladiators vs Charlotte Checkers

Ever since last season when I first heard about a teddy bear toss, I've been dying to go. For those that don't know, many ECHL teams and junior hockey teams have a special game every year where you bring stuffed animals. After the first goal (or at a designated time) you toss the bears/animals on the ice. They are collected and given to local children's charities. I didn't make it last season, but had it as a priority this year. Michelle and I planned to go with her aunt for a few weeks. I got our tickets early and everything. Unfortunately Michelle became violently ill the day of the game. I would have gone alone, but preferred company. Fortunately Marissa was able to go and was a fabulous date!


I collected Beanie Baby bears for years when they were popular. I have dozens and dozens. I haven't collected them in a while though. I thought about selling them back when you could get more than $1 each, but just couldn't do it. I'd look into their little plastic eyes and couldn't do it. I decided they'd have to go to charity. I've been thinning out the collection over the years and thought they'd be perfect for the toss. I brought 10 of them for Marissa and I to throw and brought 2 large stuffed animals.


My little friends waiting for warm up.





One of my big friends waiting for warm up.



Warm ups!


This was Marissa's first Glads game. She had been to Thrashers Training camp so she recognized a few names.
My personal favorite Glad, Chad Denny.





Matt Caruana warming up.





I like the Checkers' jerseys.





Former Pittsburgh Penguins property and current Gladiators goalie, David Brown.





The Glads other goalie, Jon Horrell from Beckenham, England.





Pat Galivan is all smiles.





Chad happy. Chad dance.





Matt Siddall waiting to take shots on the net.





Brock: Don't look, but isn't that the chick who has the Getting Pucks Deep blog?
Chad: Yeah. She's a big fan of mine.
Brock: I didn't know she came to games.
Chad: Oh yeah. Don't look, but I think she's taking pictures of us now.





Chad: I said don't look!!!!
Hi boys!!





Swarming the goalies.





Ceremonial puck drop.



First Period!


We had great seats behind the penalty box, they weren't great for pictures though. That's okay, it was all about the bears tonight!


Maximus was making his way around the arena oblivious to the puck-in-play concept. Marissa yelled at him "Down in front!" He pointed at her and shuck his head. Then he came over and sat in her lap and gave her a big (loud) kiss. Mo gets all of the mascot love.





Speaking of Mo and love, she found her a Gladiator to love. Mike Forney! Forney was at training camp with the Thrashers this summer.





Horrell watching the action.





For the entire first period kids are trembling in excitement waiting for it to be time to throw the bears. At the end of the period, it looked like the Glads scored but they did not. One lone bear was tossed, then all bear hell broke loose.





Bears came sailing onto the ice from everywhere. An announcement was made, but in Gwinnett, that doesn't mean shit because you can't understand a single word the guy says. I'm not sure if he said throw the bears now or hold them, but they were all throwing, so I did, too.





The penalty box guys and score keepers were ready.





As the bears rained down on the ice several pick-up trucks came onto the ice and girl scout troops placed the toys in to the back.





More bears.





After the bears flew, I decided to go and have a hotdog. I'd been wanting to try the arena's hotdog because they had this big deal about how they had new hotdogs and they even had a contest to pick them. The hotdog place had a line out the door, so I went to the Georgia Grill. I order my hotdog fries and a drink. I had just been telling Mo how excited I was about drinks here because you can keep your lids ( I have several times in the past and we saw a guy with his.) So I get my drink and the girl takes my lid.
Mo: I thought we could keep our lids. We saw a guy with his.
Cashier: (in a snotty tone)No, but you can always get security on him.
Mo: I don't want to be a bitch.
Cashier: (as Mo was turning to go) Or you can just stand here and whine about it.
WOW! First time I've ever had bad service there. I got my hotdog and fries and Mo and I headed back down the (considerable) stairs to our seat. I open my hotdog and there is a burned, hard, cold charcoal briquette on the bun. So I went all the way back and got another. It wasn't very good. The fries were great. Next time....the hotdog place.


So the Glads headed into the second period down 2-0, not a good score on Teddy Bear night...or any night really.


Second Period!


Booooo! Checkers score again.





Drink your cares away, Dave.

Drew Paris got us on the board in the 2nd period, but the Checkers scored as well and we ended the 2nd period down 3-1.




One of the reason I love Glads games...you get to throw shit on the ice. I figured I'd be busy throwing bears, so I chose not to buy any pucks for Chuck-a-puck. My favorite part of a Glads game!!!





Then Maximus comes out on this little 4 wheel thing. They are spinning and swerving! I was clapping like a fool. He shot Tshirts, too.



Third period!


Matt Siddall stretching for the 3rd period.





This little guy was awesome. Anytime a Checkers player went into the penalty box he'd go over and bang on the box then go back and fist bump his dad.





Woo Hoo! Glads score.



The Glads scored twice in the third period. Pat Galivan got the scoring started early in the period with a nice short handed goal and Brocklehurst tied things up with a power play goal later in the game. We went through OT and were still tied so it was shoot out time!!!!


Brown says no to Slattengren





Glove save from Wiikman on Siddall.





Tkaczuk scores.





Mifsud scores.


After a 7 round shoot out, Glads win! It was a fabulously fun night of flying bears, rude bitches and burned hotdogs! Marissa and I had a great time though.

5 comments:

CaptainStefan January 17, 2010 at 7:36 PM  

aha. :D

http://shotfromthesky.blogspot.com/

Be jealous :)

gg44 January 17, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

I saw you going back with your hotdog, but didn't feel like fighting the crowd to introduce myself (sorry!) BTW: if you ever need a lid, drop by 112 row z, and I'll give you one (yes, I have a large collection of them in a pocket of my purse. I'm clumsy. They spill. I need the lids)

Nice pictures, as always!

Sunshine36616 January 18, 2010 at 8:29 AM  

Very nice, Stefan! You have a press pass for them, right? I was gonna look for you the other night with Thrash, but then got drunk and forgot. When are you helping the bird again?

gg44, I usually bring lids to the Thrashers game, too lol. I really don't get Gwinnett doing it. Okay, NHL, you can't throw anything on the ice. ECHL, throw shit on the ice all the time lol. Although you don't want people to throw stuff unsanctioned.

I had a blast and we are hoping to come back for one or two of the Pink the Rink nights. This time I know where to get my dog, lol.

gg44 January 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

PITR is one of my favorites... I think I have pictures of last year (no where near as good as your's)on my facebook...The jerseys didn't help my poor skills last year, they looked nice two seasons ago though... really nice.

Michelle January 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

I am sooooo sorry that I got sick the day before the game, and 6 days later, still am sick, and was sooooooo excited about me and my aunt being your dates for the game, but I'm even more happy that you had such a good time. Great pictures and it looks like it was a lot of fun. Had I gone ahead and gone, they'd have been scooping me up wtih those gorgeous little bears of yours and putting me in that truck too.

Thanks for posting and next time, I am there......

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