Saturday, March 7, 2015


Recently in February I took a trip to Toledo Ohio, for various reasons (including the city’s gaming convention, BASHCon, which I’ll cover on my gaming related channel).  I also had the opportunity to take in a Toledo Walleye game, which was my first ECHL game, meaning all I need now is a SPHL game and I’m set for American hockey leagues, other than the really minor junior ones.

But enough about that.  Let’s start with the most important video you will see all day, that they played on the enormous screen directly behind my head.
( (I don't think it'll let me embed it, but I'll wait.
That’s right, giant walleye have gained the ability to rip through streets to a hockey arena, where they mysteriously shrink down to regular walleye size.  That’s just…amazing.  Also I’m no fish scientist, but I doubt they just jump out of the water, or …ice like that. Plus bonus points for getting the phrase “what the hell” past.  I’m on to you. The really shocking thing is that this only has 11,000 views as of now.
Though, the fish mutation could be related to the fact that there’s a giant fish that looks like Blinky from the Simpsons without any eyes.
Yeah, made a Simpsons reference, bet you didn't see that coming!
Oh, I guess it does have eyes. Still looks like Blinky though.

You may notice that I don’t really have a lot of pictures of the main scoreboard. That’s because, unlike most NHL arenas (probably all of them), Toledo’s Huntington Center (whose name is owned by the bank, which is based in Ohio) doesn’t have a center hung scoreboard. It instead uses a massive screen on one wall. It’s huge, much bigger than most any center hung screen I’ve seen.  Unfortunately it was right behind our seats, so I really couldn’t see it, and taking pictures was…difficult.
I tried, I really tried
Regardless, the game was, for the most part, great.  In the first 15 minutes there were 3 goals and a fight.  The Walleye (plural walleye, not singular walleye) were pretty much running wild on the visiting Wheeling Nailers (apparently Wheeling, West Virginia has a long and storied history of nail manufacturing).  The Nailers isn’t quite as silly a name as the Toledo Goaldiggers, whose banners are hung up on the Huntington Center rafters. Yes, the Goaldiggers. Digging for Goals.

Unfortunately, the first period was marred by a terrible injury.  With about a minute and a half left, Wheeling player Tristin Llewellyn was hit into the boards by Toledo’s Cody Lampl. He was out for quite a while, it was so bad that the referees (and maybe the league office) decided to start the intermission early and play the last 90 seconds of the first in the second.  He was on the ice for probably about 15-20 minutes, and was taken to the hospital.  He stayed there for the weekend and since has been released.  Unfortunately finding information about the ECHL is still difficult, and the last update was that he was released from the hospital. That was one of the reasons I didn’t write this until now, even though the game was on February 21st.
After that, and the slight hiccup when the “intermission” between actual periods was longer because the ambulance hadn’t come back yet (I’m pretty certain they weren’t supposed to drop the puck at all until it did), the game resumed, but with a much slower tempo for the first 10-15 minutes of the second. After a few more hits and a few more scraps the energy got back into the teams and the building, and Toledo continued their thrashing on the scoreboard.  Pretty much the only bad thing for Toledo was that their inflatable mascot randomly deflated halfway in the game, only to re-inflate.
(something something joke here)
The Walleye came away with a 5-0 victory, and really dominated play throughout the contest.  The center in downtown Toledo was full of happy people leaving the building.

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