What better way to set the stage for tonight’s title came than to take in the USCHO Fan Forum Poster’s game, held this year at the Kern Center on the campus of Milwaukee School of Engineering?
This annual event brings college hockey fans that frequent USCHO’s Fan Forum message board together to play a pick-up game of the sport they love.
I talked with organizer Pete Berryman, a.k.a. “PGB-OHIO” prior to the contest.
“This will be the fifth year and the fourth for me,” said Berryman. “Thirty-one people signed up, and it looks like everyone’s here.”
The task of organizing the event usually falls on a hockey-playing poster within the geographic area of the Frozen Four, and Pete took on the challenge of finding a place to play and signing up participants back in September.
While the quality of play was slightly less that what fans will see tonight (OK, I’m being generous here, it was pretty bad), everybody was skating hard and having a lot of fun.
“This is my second year (at the game),” said Theresa Spisak, known on the Fan Forum as “Quizmire”. “I played on the BU women’s club team and just graduated. It’s a chance to play some more hockey. Everyone’s having a blast.”
One of the highlights of the game was a scrap between the diminutive “MeanEgirl” and the much larger “JayPointRC”.
“Number 27 started some [stuff] with me, so he asked for it,” said MeanEgirl, who in real life goes by BethLynn McCallum.
The spectators, which numbered in the tens, were into the contest, banging cowbells and serenading both goaltenders with “Sieve” chants.
The game was rather loosely refereed by two guys in stripes (vertical stripes), one of which did not venture from the boards and seemed to be a little unsure on his skates.
In the end, the home team (known as the “Hacks”) pulled out a 9-7 win over the “Goons” to take home the coveted USCHO trophy (OK, no trophy) and bragging rights until St. Louis.
“I could have gone to the cheese store instead,” said one spectator. “This was definitely more fun that that.”
Seriously, nice job guys and girls. See you in St. Louis.