Saturday, December 15, 2012

CHOC Charity Hockey Game at Anaheim Ice

          Some of the NHL's best joined together Friday night for a charity hockey game with proceeds going to CHOC Children's Hospital. The event was to be held at Anaheim Ice, which is a very easy place to graph, so I decided to head out to the rink after school and try my luck. I figured that most of the players would arrive early to practice and warm-up, so my plan was to get to the rink early, and try to get the players walking in.

          I arrived at the event about three hours early. I quickly set up base outside the player's parking lot and began the wait. Unfortunately Friday was a very stormy and cold day in Southern California, so I had to try and keep warm during the wait. Time went by and nobody came in, around 5:00 it began raining. I figured that even if a player did come in, they probably wouldn't stop and I would not want to expose my cards and damage them in the rain. So I decided to go inside and see if anyone would come through the front door. About five minutes after going inside, I got my first action of the day. Kings star Dustin Penner came in and signed for the few people that noticed him. Penner signed three cards for me and four for my friend Scotty, however Penner mistook one of Scotty's Rob Scuderi cards for one of his and signed that one as well. Scotty didn't mind though.

           That was it for players walking in. I became clueless on how the players came in since they didn't come in through the back or the front at least not when we were waiting. I grabbed my tickets at Will-Call and went inside the event. The way the event was set-up made it very difficult for autographs. To even get a guy, you would have to get their attention and throw down whatever you wanted signed about 10 feet down. I was however able to get Brad Staubitz on two cards and Scottie Upshall on three. Upshall was having a lot of fun trying to catch and throw the cards back. He was laughing the entire time and trying to come up with ways to get them up and down. The game then started and we took our seats. About five minutes into the game future NHL Hall of Famer Scott Niedemayer started signing. The line wasn't long at all so Scott was very friendly and signed three cards for me and three for my mother.

          The game itself was very entertaining, but autographs were no where to be found. Ryan Getzlaf scored four goals and the "home" team, which was mostly containing Ducks, won 9-5. The only thing that I wasn't a big fan of was that there was no checking or fighting, two things that always makes a hockey game more exciting. After the game everything completely turned around. I found out that all the players would have to walk right past the fans to get to the parking lot. This was graphing heaven since all the players practically came to you. I was able to get everybody at the event except for the two no-shows, Matt Greene and Sheldon Sourray. I don't have many stories about the autographs, so here are a few pictures followed by my autograph numbers.

Home Team:

George Parros 1/4
Ryan Getzlaf 1/4 
Toni Lydman 4/4
Bryan Allen 3/3
Jonas Hiller 0/9 ("I have to get home")
Teemu Selanne 4/4 1/1 puck
Brad Staubitz 2/2
Sheldon Sourray 0/7 (Didn't show up)
Francois Beauchemin 1/4

Away Team:

Jeff Carter 1/7
Ryan Miller 3/7 3/4 (Had help)
Matt Greene 0/7 (No show)
Dustin Penner 3/8
Dion Phaneuf 1/7 (Kept skipping over me until very end)
Justin Williams 1/7
Rob Scuderi 1/4
Kent Huskins 4/4
Scottie Upshall 3/7

Scott Niedemayer 3/6 3/3 (Had help) (Didn't play in game, just was signing autographs)

          Overall everything went smoothly. It was a bit crazy at the beginning because a lot of players were coming out at once and a bunch of people were asking to borrow my Sharpie. Word of advice, if you come to an event with something to get signed, bring a Sharpie or whatever you want it signed with!!! I had seven people ask to borrow my Sharpie or DECO and one kid ended up not even giving one of my Sharpies back. But in the end I got pretty much all of the autographs I wanted. I noticed a lot of guys doing one per person, probably because there were quite a few people and they pry wanted to get back home. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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