There was a link to this article on the front page of NHL.com today. Montreal's ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones are competing in the Kelly Cup playoffs.
After moving out to Davis, California 6 months ago, I was quite fortunate to see that the Cyclones would be visiting the local teams (Stockton Thunder and Fresno Falcons). The Cyclones were the only team from east of the Mississippi River to visit this area this year, so I HAD to go see them play in Stockton (about 45 minutes away). It was a pretty good game, but Gregory Stewart was the only Montreal prospect that played in the game. Montreal and Hamilton were both riddled with injuries at the time, which created a trickle-down effect with the prospects being called up.
Stewart was pretty big, but seemed a little slow and unmotivated. He did get in a fight, which was pretty much a draw.
I have already blogged about my trip to Stockton, CA to see the game. It is located on myspace, but I will copy and paste it for you here:
"Sunday, March 04, 2007
My trip to Stockton
Yesterday, I hopped in my truck and took a road trip to Lodi and Stockton, CA. I stopped in Lodi for lunch at a brewpub that I wanted to check out. Lodi is um, an interesting place. Seems quaint enough in the downtown area, but just outside of there were several dingy, run down homes. It was kind of like a trailer park in a city, except there weren't any trailers. Either way, I felt safe. The food was decent and the beer was something to be deisred. There was a bartender there who had a reall nice ass, but was kinda soft elsewhere. She saw my Cincy jersey on and she asked me if I actually played for them. I should have fucked with her and said "yes", but the question caught me off guard. When I told her I didn't play for them, she was like "oh, I was going to get your autograph". Then she walked away and didn't even look at me again. Stupid cuntwagon. Like 1 guy from a hockey team visiting from Cincy is going to rent a car and go out by himself 12 miles up the road to Lodi? Oh well.
Onwards to Stockton! My initial plan was to go to Stockton to watch a minor-league ECHL game between Stockton and Cincy. Apparently, this game was almost sold out, so I went to the box office and managed to buy myself a ticket. It really is a nice, new arena. Unfortunately, it is not in the nicest of neighborhoods.
I get back into my truck and decide to drive 3 miles up the road to the BevMo to see if they have any interesting beers that I can't find around here. Nothing special. A couple of interesting beers, but that's about it.
In the meantime, I was going to spend the extra 3-4 hours at a highly regarded brewpub called Valley Brewing. Unfortunately, this place is like a mile from the arena. I decide I should park equidistant from the arena in order to avoid an overly long walk as well as the traffic when the game is finished. Well, the first 1000 feet or so in the viscinity of the brewpub isn't too bad. As a matter of fact, it is dubbed the "Miracle Mile". No lie. It's probably a miracle if you don't have a crime committed against you in this mile. After that 1000 feet, the other 4000 feet is really fucking shady. I see a couple of nice homes and figure it is a nice side street to park on. So I park in front of this really nice home, and I realize it has a high wrought iron fence around with with big locks on the doors. I look across the street and there are a couple of shit hole houses with the same iron bars over all the windows and over all the doors. The car in front of me has "The Club" attatched to the steering wheel. I restart my car and search for another area to park. I couldnt find any. I end up parking in the lot directly across from the arena, which seemed safe enough. What this meant, though, is that I had to walk from my car the mile up the road to the brewpub. No problem at 3pm. Unfortunately, this also meant that I had to walk back from the brewpub to the arena at 7pm when it was dark and with a few beers in my system. Needless to say, I make it back ok after passing several ghetto marts.
The game was pretty good. I was seated next to this pretty hot blonde puck bunny. She was kind of annoying in a way because she was saying how well she knew all these hockey players. That's cool and all, but these guys are minor minor league players. They make maybe $30,000-$40,000 a year. It's not like they are overly special. Oh well, that seems to be the attitude in the area. She also seemed to be text messaging people for the entire duration of the game. Cincy wins, people yell at me. Blah. I leave and have absolutely no trouble with traffic and my car isn't broken into, so I'm pretty happy. On the way home, I realize that the speed limit on route 5 is 70mph. Cool! I make good time.
In retrospect, I was really retarded to walk in that town and to leave my car unattended. It seriously would have been safer for me to drink and drive. Crime is so bad in that town that I'm sure the last thing the cops have to worry about is some white kid drinking and driving. I looked at some stats today online and it's pretty scary.
-Stockton is #2 in the nation per capita when it comes to car theft. In 2004, 22.2 cars were stolen PER DAY. Yea, that's about 1 an hour.
-Stockton has the highest per capita rate of violent crime in the entire state of California. Yes, even worse than Compton or any other LA ghetto.
-Stockton is the "Asparagus Capital of the World"
-Murder rate is 1.82 times the national average
-Rape is 1.61 times the national average
-Robbery is 2.08 times the national average
-Aggravated Assault is 2.31 times the national average
-All Violent Crimes are 2.28 times the national average
-Car Theft is 2.42 times the national average."
Today's obscure Habs player of the day is Johan Witehall.