The Fairbanks Fatty
I don't know a lot about Alaska. I've never been there and it's not exactly on my agenda for the future. I once stayed with a couple of Alaskans in Washington D.C. and one of them stole my sweatshirt, if that counts for anything. But outside of Inuit thieves and Jack London books, my expertise on Canada's mysterious western neighbor is quite limited.
But it sure was nice to see their hockey players get to visit the United States for a few days to play hockey.
And it was equally nice for us American hockey fans. I've seen Bozeman and Bismarck enough times to hate their fans on a personal basis, so now it was nice to develop a rival fan hatred on a more impersonal level. And believe me, this was definitely accomplished by the end of the night.
It had been awhile since I had been to a game. Unfortunately, my idiot friends decided to take me out to places other than hockey arenas the weekends prior to this game, so a huge hole in my life developed that is only able to be filled by junior hockey. I really wanted to be welcomed back with a few goals, some nice saves, a story or two from the Detox Section, and one good knockout courtesy of Mr. Bob Preece. Asking for too much? Absolutely not. I've gotten it in the past and if I can teach those Alaskans anything, it's that we real Americans are greedy and won't settle for anything less than the best.
The best isn't exaclty what we got in this one. Mind you, the last time I had seen the Jets play, they were in the midst of their "Allow one goal" run, so I was expecting uninhibited thrashings like that. What I got was completely different.
The Ice Dogs outworked the Jets from the opening faceoff. The power play didn't show up, the offense was turning the puck over at really inopportune times, and there was never any semblance of momentum for the home team. And I hate to pick on the guy because he's young and he's going to be the man next year, but Elliott Okland played poorly enough that it almost became necessary for me to start a sieve chant. There were a lot of soft goals and one particular misplaced pass in the third that really doomed the Jets from having any chance in this game.
What was most frustrating of all was the small in numbers, but large in voice and girth contingent of Ice Dogs' fans in the Coliseum. While most of the crowd was respectfully cheering for their team, there was one rather hefty female who stood the whole game and would not shut up. Her yelling wasn't limited to just pro-Fairbanks vocalizations, she made sure to go out of her way to rub it in to the Jets and to Elliott whenever they screwed up.
Look, we can all tell when our team is playing poorly. We can tell that you deserve to win this game. And we can definitely tell that you enjoy the assortment of buffets offered in the Fargo-Moorhead area. But for your safety, I'd highly suggest not being the lone vocal idiot so close to the Detox Section. I know the people in there very well and believe me, there are some pretty fair projectile marksmen in the bunch. If you ever find your way back, you have been warned.
And Detox Section, I know our team was getting pummeled, but the performance by the fans was unforgivable. It was bad enough that we didn't drown her out with cheering, but the fact that she didn't "accidentally" trip while going down the stairs after the game results in a loss for the section on the night. While I did hear one good, "GET A CHEESBURGER" while she was yelling, nobody even mustered up one good chant to taunt her specifically with. I'm disappointed, Detox Section, and you're only getting this for the night:
My return to the Coliseum saw both the Jets and the Detox patrons get totally outworked. I left expecting a better performance next time. After all, we've got the playoffs to get ready for.