Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A game, A life

The group of men stood outside the arena in the make-shift smoking area along State Route 9 to analyze what they had just seen and discuss what they hoped would happen.

“Good game, but we need the win,” said one of the men, whose orange jersey spilled out from beneath his winter coat on a chilly night during the first weekend of the New Year. Behind him, an electronic message board informed anyone who cared to look that the temperature was a brisk 26 degrees.

“I just hope we don’t go to a shoot-out, because you know we can be beat with a shot up high, over the shoulder,” responded the man’s friend, blowing lazy smoke rings into the air that drifted across the Saratoga County line before it was swallowed by the night.

Inside the arena, where the third period of a tied game would soon get underway, a Zamboni circled atop the sheet of ice, collecting shavings and spraying water across the glassy surface inside the rink. Ozzy Osbourne blared through the overhead speakers about going off the rails on a crazy train. And, to the delight of the younger hockey fans in attendance, a 7- foot-tall orange and yellow beaver named Dax donned a magical cape and rallied the near-sellout crowd of 4,634 to cheer on their Adirondack Phantoms during an American Hockey League game against the visiting Connecticut Whale.

Words & Pictures: Thomas Dimopoulos
Twitter: @thomdimopoulos

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