Wednesday: Clear As Ice

Seeing a Top 5 on HJC is nothing new, but I wanted to change it up from jerseys and logos. So here is a list of my Top 5 most memorable hockey games and events that I have gone to. It's long, but I hope you enjoy it.
1) 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field
2009 was the second year of the Winter Classic, and I don't think anyone knew how much the demand for outdoor games would grow. The Blackhawks had just signed a TV deal for the first time in years, and new Blackhawks fans poured into Wrigley Field to watch the game. The atmosphere of Wrigleyville neighborhood was unforgettable! The feeling of watching a hockey game where I had grown up watching my favorite team in all of sports, the Chicago Cubs, play is something that I will never forget.

2) 2014 NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field
Anyone who has read my Wednesday posts before knows that I love outdoor hockey, and that's why the Stadium Series comes in number 2. Outdoor NHL games had grown beyond anyone's imagination, and the league's solution was to play 6 outdoor games in 2014. There was so much snow falling, that I can't really remember much of the game itself. However, the view of the snow falling in the stadium lights is permanently enshrined in my head.
3) The Chicago Wolves Skates' Mates Festival
As a young kid living in the Blackhawks 'TV Blackout' Era, I would cheer on the local AHL franchise. I was such a big Wolves fan that I was part of their kids club. Each year, they had a festival for all of the members where kids could meet and get autographs from all of the players. During the 2004-05 NHL Lockout, I had my Wolves jersey signed by the entire team. Looking back at the names on that jersey, it has many names of players that would go on to play in the NHL.
4) Chicago Wolves vs. Michigan K-Wings at my local rink
Back in the IHL days, a hockey rink had just opened up right down the street from my house. To help the new ice rink, the Chicago Wolves played an exhibition game on the same ice that I was learning to skate on. I remember my mom taking me to that game, and I loved watching every second of that game!
5) Chicago Hounds Opening Night
This wasn't a good experience, but it sure was memorable. A new UHL team was set to play its first game in the brand new Sears Center, and the Hounds were looking to capture some of the long-time Wolves fans by making games an unforgettable experience. Well, that's exactly what they gave me. When I got to the arena, there wasn't any glass around the rink, and the center of the ice was visibly wet. The ice crew couldn't get the area over the team's center ice logo to freeze, and I remember them using fire extinguishers to try to help. When the fire marshal learned that they had used all of the extinguishers in the building, the effort was delayed until they could truck more into the stadium. An hour after the scheduled face off, the players came onto the ice for warmups. I've never seen fans so happy to watch a pre-game warmup. Almost two hours after the game was supposed to start, the UHL commissioner announced that the game was cancelled. I can tell you that I'll never forget all of the fans in attendance throwing their chuck-a-pucks at the poor guy.
COTW July 14-20 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
HJC Open Rd 2 entries (due Wednesday @ 11:59pm Eastern)

If you advanced into the second round of the HJC Open, make sure you get your concepts in BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT! You wouldn't want to hand the win to another artist without putting up a fight.
As always, don't forget to vote for the COTW. There are some really good concepts this week. It was a really tough choice when I cast my vote.
Mario A. - Dallas Stars Concept
Design: When the Stars unveiled their uniforms, I was pretty disappointed that they ripped off the Blackhawks St. Patrick's Day jersey. Mario Seems to have fixed that problem, and he even reintroduces excessive black into the color scheme. The black reminds me a lot of the Stars last days in Minnesota. The arm stripes are good in that they are pretty unique to the Stars. I can't believe that they got away with using the distinguishable Chicago striping. I do really like that Mario kept the hem striping very similar to their current uniforms.
Score: 7/10 - Mario has showed some great improvement over the last few weeks. I think that this is one of his best concepts yet. There is one critical error though. The logo on the white concept still has a white background. It's subtle, but should still be removed for a cleaner concept.
Jamie R. - Winnipeg Jets Alternate Concept
Design: Jamie adds quite a bit of red to the Jets new color scheme, which makes sense considering it is the color of the nation's flag. The Jets new logo is already a tribute to the Canadian Air Force, and Jamie takes it one step further by using the Air Force Coat of Arms as the concept's shoulder patches. This jersey would look really good for the 2016 Heritage Classic that Winnipeg is set to host. I really like that the crest is outlined in gold, but I would add the same trim to the number to tie the front and back of the concept together.
Score: 6/10 - There is a lot of inconsistency on this concept. I am not a fan of how the stripes on the arms, chest, hem, and socks all have different spacing. I think this concept would look better with more uniform striping.
Garrett F. - Madison Capitols Alternate Concept
Design: The Madison Capitols will play their inaugural season next year in the USHL. Garrett has designed an alternate for the team, and it is a very good looking jersey. The light blue trim looks awesome, and really adds a lot to the jersey. I'd recommend showing the shoulder patch in the background, as it is difficult to see on this template.
Score: 7.5/10 - Aside from the shoulder patch, I think that the number and name on the back of the jersey is way too big.
S2dio - AIK - Djugarden "What If" Concept
Design: S2dio hits us with another concept, and another template. I don't know how he does it, but this template is one of my favorites as of late. It really allows the viewer to see all design aspects of the concept. Anyway, S2dio has created a solution just in case there is ever a shortage of hockey interest in Sweden. My brother actually owns an AIK jersey, and I wouldn't change a thing. But given the unfortunate circumstance that the team had to merge, this would make a good compromise. I am a bit surprised that S2dio elected to go with a yellow base, as both teams share blue as a base color.
Score: 8.5/10 - This concept is awesome, but I hope this template returns. But who knows? We may never see the same template twice!
Justin F. - Columbus Blue Jackets Concept
Design: It seems like everyone is creating Blue Jackets concepts as of late. I think that Justin's design is especially cool because it still uses the yoke that runs all the way down the arms, while still incorporating new striping. When you put the front and back halves of the concept together, the small stripes at the wrists would appear to create chevrons. This is really cool given the team's identity.
Score: 8/10 - The execution is really good on this concept. It follow all of the rules on hem stripes and arm stripes being sewn over the base jersey.
Gerard M. - Atlanta Thrashers AHL Concept
Design: Long before the Hurricanes added their nameplate to the yoke, the Thrashers did the same. But here, we're not talking about the same Thrashers. The concept that Gerard created is for the resurrection of the Atlanta Franchise as an AHL affiliate to the Nashville Predators. On top of being an unlikely event to occur, I think it would just be embarrassing to the city of Atlanta. Feel free to correct me, but I don't think a city has ever lost a pro team and had it resurrected as a minor league team of the same name. That is almost a more awkward situation than the whole Charlotte Hornets disaster. The home and away jerseys were some of my favorite jerseys when they were used, and Gerard has fixed the football style alternate back into a hockey jersey.
Home & Away Score: 6/10, Alternate Score: 6.5/10 - The home & away concept is very stylish, but there are a few errors that hurt it. First, the white socks and jersey are different shades of white. Also, the crest on the white jersey was never removed from its white background. Unfortunately, that background is also a different shade of white. The alternate has the same issue of using a different shade of white on the jersey and socks.
Well there it is! I'd like you hear some of your memorable hockey experiences. Feel free to comment, as I'm curious if anyone can top my Chicago Hounds story.
Wednesday: Clear As Ice Reviewed by Alex O. on July 23, 2014 Rating: 5


DBro Alexander said...

I remember the old Chicago Hounds. I went to an IceHogs-Hounds game at the Sears Center back when the IceHogs played in the UHL. Don't remember much of the game itself but we sat down by the benches and the IceHogs had a player named "Cockburn" pronounced "Co-burn"..

Needless to say fans of both teams had fun with that one.

I still pass the Sears Center on I-90 all the time and it seems like they never have anything going on over there since every sports team they try to put there leaves after a season or two.

Mario Ardais said...

Mario A. here. My most memorable hockey experience was on October 27th, 2012, when i first saw Colorado's newest hockey team, the CHL's Denver Cutthroats. They played the Rapid City Rush in the Denver Coliseum, the best arena in Colorado IMO. I got to sit near rinkside, and the view was amazing. Too bad there were drunk assholes calling players names the whole time and pounding the glass just to be annoying. The Cutthroats had a good roster in those days too. Players like goalie Kent Patterson, forward AJ Gale, and Kyle Quincey before he went to the Wings. Rapid City won however. Kind of a shock, considering they were out-played the whole game.

the creater said...

Regarding my CBJ concept, the comment about the chevron was what i intended for the stripes to look like.
About Sears Center, i actually played a hockey tournament last year and one of the games was there, and also the year before that, I played a couple of games at the old Cincinnati Gardens' main rink! Awesome atmospheres, even though hardly any of the seats are filled... I'd have to say one of the most fun games I've been to was the 2014 NCAA second round game with Ferris State-North Dakota with North Dakota winning in 2OT

Will S said...

Have only been to one NHL game and it was a snorefest - Mighty Ducks @ Calgary; not many shots on net and only one goal scored - on the Flames when they were down 2 men from a bone head penalty. One of the two main stars for the Ducks of that time wasn't playing that game.

A long time ago my wife's Grandmother had her cheekbone broken as a fan at her grandfather's game - had to fly her out of town and replace her cheekbone with plastic.

Met Bill "Goldie" Goldthorpe (the guy Ogie Oglethorpe was based on) when he threw out the first pitch and signed autographs and talked with people at a local baseball game a few years back. Might have seen him when he played here but my memory is good for that far back.

Played in a local area tournament for non-league teams and players (Huff'n'Puff). OT for the final game was done different ways different years. One year you had to shoot a frozen turkey with your stick into the goal. 1st player started at the blue line and they moved it in until someone got it into the empty goal.

Dad just came back from the Snoopy Tournament in California. He played on a team in the 70+ age group. Four other guys from his afternoon pickup played in the tournament - 4 total in the 70+ and 1 guy played on a 60+ team (3 different teams).

Unknown said...

The most memorable hockey game I watched was the 2nd one I watched ever. It was the BC Bantam AA Finals hosted in my hometown, between Trail (I think) and the hometown team. I was there with my dad to watch the game, which went into triple overtime and was eventually won by our team. The crowd (full capacity at just over 1000 fans) went absolutely nuts, and that moment is what made me want to get into hockey.

Unknown said...

Mine was the ottawa senators vs ny rangers playoff game when Kyle Turks sniped one In OT. Or an ottawa senators game where I sat in the first row beside the glass. Problem was when your sitting near the glass, the glass created a blur and you could barely near the net. But still a cool experience.

Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh at NY Islanders 2013, Game 4. My first playoff game at the old barn and it was loud. I took video of the usual postgame victory lap by the Blue and Orange Army and it was spectacular.

Second place would have to be the Penguins-Islanders brawl game.

Unknown said...

My hockey game memories. Most recently since I don't go to as many games any more would be the Sabres butt goal game.

The first Winter Classic will always be a memory even though I couldn't see the actual live game, I had to watch it via jumbo tron.

And my first ever hockey game. Don't remember the game at all but I do remember thats when I fell in love with my favorite player to this date. Hasek. Won a 1-0 shutout and it's exactly what I wanted. Bought a mini goalie stick with his name on it and always pretended I was him. I really wish I still had that stick.

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