Forgive me for skipping over the Coyotes game in Toronto on Wednesday (I WILL get to that game summary next), but I was too excited about my first REAL reunion with the Kitchener Rangers and the Guelph Storm. It’s been five years since I last attended a junior hockey game. The last time I was at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium was for the Rangers Alumni game during the 2008 Memorial Cup. Of course, that game wasn’t the real deal! With all the old faves from my high school days, including NHL stars Mike Richards, David Clarkson, Derek Roy, Steve Eminger, Gregory Campbell, and even Scott Stevens behind the bench, it was more like a walk down memory lane than anything else. No jailbait in sight!
I was mostly excited to get back to the rink to see what the new generation of puck bunnies was up to. The Aud was, after all, the arena that inspired me to write Down the Rabbit Hole: A Guide to Puck Bunnies in the first place. Back in the day, at LEAST half the arena used to be filled with full fledged pucks, but, sadly, tonight I could hardly spot any! After the 2003 Memorial Cup victory, the Rangers had a harder ticket to come by than the Maple Leafs. It was impossible to get a seat unless you knew someone who had season tickets through work. I ended up switching teams to Guelph in 2004 as a result of the scarcity! Anyway, my theory is that when the tickets stopped being available, the puck bunny presence at the arena had to drop off dramatically.
I did see the odd cluster here and there. They were confined to the rink side standing room section. Back in the day, I would have DIED if I had to stand down there! These girls have evolved with the times. Sure, they all still play that game where they have to look “uninterested” in the players and the game. It’s a strange rule that they all have like they think that showing up isn’t enough to tip every one off that they are there for a reason and, maybe, I don’t know, to watch a game. Of course, they all saw me, too, in my 17 year old disguise. Unfortunately, given that fake tans and designer everything has become the trend in the six years since my hay day, they all looked significantly older than me (even when I’m not wearing purple lipstick and silver eyeshadow). See, tanning IS bad for you! Anyway, many of them became preoccupied with the fact that my seats (which were given to us by a season ticket holder) happened to be RIGHT next to the bench and theirs weren’t. I was an obvious threat – duh!
What was funny, also, was that they would disappear! When you have standing room you are free to roam about. There is the rink side level standing room (premium warm up location) then there is the upper location, which just happens to be right beside the box that the scratched and injured players sit in. Get ‘em while their weak, eh, ladies? During one of the intermissions, I actually saw a bunch of them chasing an injured one down!
It’s interesting the kind of perspective you get on junior hockey players with age. Back then, they seemed like a herd of savage beasts (I believe I used to call them “beasts” quite often actually); a bunch of cocky assholes jerking everyone around and screwing anything that moved. They were like walking nightmares. Then you grow up, but the boys, they stay the same, and you realize that they are just little boys who haven’t made it anywhere, and are still in awe of those who play above them (even in the AHL), the way that you or I might be in awe of Joe Sakic or Bobby Orr. You get a very different sense of them when you are old enough to start to look at them like the kids they are. It kind of makes you want to nurture them, and I suppose that’s why junior hockey fans are very parental in their support of the team and its players. Now, as for the billet moms that like to get it on with their charges, that’s another story.
I have to admit, I was spending more time playing with my camera, than actually watching the game. So, the following is a spinoff of the 24-style entry you saw me post with my Ducks/Red Wings game last month. Enjoy my horrible photos, and make sure you play this song while you look at them!
Roll the credits…
Puck bunny sighting x3! The brunettes were having an overly animated “funny conversation” while whispering and glancing over to the ice – it was some fine comedy. The blonde was another story. She was getting burned big time during the warm up – ouch. Gotta give her credit, though, for having the guts to go and stand down there by herself.
Aww, I sang the anthem when I was little, too! This is the Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school choir. I went there for a dance in grade eight – a boy asked me to dance the last dance of the night…and it was the only time that ever happened in my entire grade school career *blushes.*
Mini-Comrie….we were convinced this guy must be related to Mike on account of the chin, but, so far, we can’t identify a relationship. BLAST! All that work trying to get a picture chin-side and everything!
They changed Tex and made him younger!!! He has dark hair and no mustache now! The bastard snuck away (again) before I could get a clear shot! Back in the day he used to mess up my hair, which really pissed my friends off! “Don’t do that, she has to look GOOD right now!”