Sunday, January 14, 2007

1/13/07 sharks 4, PHOENIX 1

To quote a sign I saw in the first row of 222 last night, "Howl This". The Sharks came into the Job looking for vengance from that 8-0 pasting by the Coyotes in this building just two weeks ago, and, 60 minutes later, they got it. Lead by two goals from out-of-nowhere rookie Ryane Clowe, the Sharks played a much more solid game in Glendale this time around. Better known rookie Matt Carle, having last played for the Sharks in that 8-0 before being sent to the Worcester (MA) Sharks of the AHL, made his return to the parent club known when he got on the scoresheet with a goal off a rebound early into the third period. Jonathan Cheechoo also scored for the Sharks, who have recorded a goal on the powerplay in 6 consecutive games. Vesa Toskala made 29 saves for his 19th win of the season.

The Arena (greatest corporate arena name in the history of the world) is home to the Phoenix Coyotes, but many in attendance, and many more listening/watching at home or elsewhere may have easily been fooled by the large teal contingent present last night. I'd estimate somewhere around 500 Sharks fans found their way to the desert, and were not disappointed by the large amount of noise they were able to make last night. I was able to talk with many fans, both standing by the benches for the pregame warmup, and even in my seat (there was a family sitting in the row in front of me), and was able to find out that most of them were indeed from the Bay Area, and just down for the game. Among others, a group of HP Pavilion suite holders had a few suites in the Job, and a group of suite attendants sat in normal seats for this game, the first Sharks road game for many of those in the building.

I have now been to Phoenix (Glendale) three times, and I must say, two things are constant. 1) The building is still beautiful, one of my favorite, if not my favorite building to visit so far, and 2) I still hate that freaking howl. The goal horn (which I only had to hear once this time) is a loud one, one you definitely don't want to hear as an opposing fan sitting in the stands, but that howl makes me cringe each and every time it's played. Sounded once before the game, once for every powerplay, twice after every goal, and every time somebody wants to be cool and decides to just "aaawwwooo" for fun, the howl has become one of those chants that you can only appreciate if you are a fan, otherwise it is the second most annoying chant in sports history (#1, see: the Tomahawk Chop).

The Sharks return home from this brief-but-still perfect road trip on MLK day to take on the Colorado Avalanche (7:00 pst). The teams have split two games this year, the Sharks winning the game in Denver, and the Avalanche winning the previous game in the Tank in December, 5-2.

Go Sharks (aaawwwoooo)

Outside of the Job.


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