Royalty Tours USA

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Royalty w/o 12/26 in review

Opening Kickoff at Pinstripe Bowl
Since Christmas Day came out on a Sunday this year, I didn't have to go to work on Monday so the King and I decided to take a train ride on Metro-North up to Bridgeport, Connecticut to see the Sound Tigers, the NY Islanders AHL affiliate, take on the Connecticut Whale, the NY Rangers farm team at Webster Bank Arena. Ironically the parent teams were playing each other at the Garden at the same time. We decided to take the more cost effective way out. In addition, a change of scenery is always a good thing.

As for the game we saw the Sound Tigers beat the Whale, 3-2 after they trailed 2-1 after two periods. The game appeared headed for overtime when the Sound Tigers Tomas Marcinko lit the lamp to avoid the extra session with 4:26 left in regulation time. Since the King and I had some time before our train was leaving we were rooting for bonus hockey. Unfortunately we didn't get that break on this night. That's just the way it is sometimes.

Tuesday I went back to work. After work, I went out to the Prudential Center to see the NJ Nets home opener as they play their last season in New Jersey. Next season they move into the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. They played the Atlanta Hawks, a team on the rise. On this night, the Hawks rose up early as they blew away the Nets, 106-70. The Hawks had a well balanced attack as they cruised to the easy victory in front of a sellout crowd.

Wednesday night after work, I repeated the drill to Newark. This time the Devils were home against the Buffalo Sabres. I was pulling for the Sabres because of our friends Andrew Kulyk and Peter Farrell aka USRT who are from Buffalo and they're big fans of the Sabres but to no avail.

The Devils raced out to a 3-0 lead and they held on to win the game, 3-1 as Thomas Vanek of the Sabres scored in the third period to break the shutout bid by Devils' goaltender Martin Brodeur.

Thursday night I went home to catch up on some needed rest.

Friday I got out of work early at 2PM which gave me enough time to go up to Yankee Stadium for the second annual Pinstripe Bowl. This time the game featured the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University from nearby New Brunswick, NJ and the Cyclones from Iowa State University which is located in Ames, Iowa 30 miles north of Des Moines.

I had some company as my friend Steve Tepperman aka Princeton Steve was there as well. We enjoyed each other's company during the game.

As for the experience, the crowd was mainly Rutgers' fans who had a short ride to the game. There were a number of Cyclone fans who came in from the cornfields of Iowa to see their team play. In addition, they got to visit New York City too.

As for the game, Iowa State took an early 6-0 lead on two field goals. They were running well but they couldn't get the ball into the end zone. As a result, Rutgers finally got going as they build a comfortable lead. The Cyclones got within a touchdown in the fourth quarter at 20-13 but Rutgers connected on a 86 yard bomb to freshman wide receiver Brandon Coleman for a touchdown that sealed the deal for them as they won the game by a score of 27-13. Redshirt freshman Jawan Jamison sparked the Scarlet Knights' ground game with 134 rushing.

After the game, I met up with the King who wound up going to Brooklyn to see LIU play basketball. By doing so, he saw his 400th sporting event of the calendar year.

Afterwards we met up at Donovan's Pub with our pal Bryan Gilligan who was watching a few high school basketball games. We had a nice dinner together. We got to catch up on our recent whereabouts.

Saturday afternoon the King and I went out to the Nassau Coliseum to see the NY Islanders play the Edmonton Oilers.

It was Ken Morrow #6 Islander Hall of Fame Day as the Islanders enshrined their defenseman who played back in the 1980's in the Islanders' Hall of Fame. Ken Morrow played for the US Olympic Team that won the Gold Medal against Russia in 1980. He joined the Islanders in March that year. He arrived just in time as the Islanders went to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time. They made it five straight years to the Finals as they won their four straight Stanley Cups in the process. Morrow wasn't known to be a prolific goal scorer since he was a defenseman. He did know how to score at the right time though as he had 11 playoff goals including a game winner that eliminated their arch rival, the NY Rangers along the way.

As for the game, the Islanders scored the first goal of the game. The Oilers quickly answered with one of their own to tie the game at one. The Islanders proceeded to score the next three and that's how it ended as the Islanders' won, 4-1.

After the game the King and I hitched a ride to Brooklyn where we closed out the 2011 calendar year the way we started it with a surprise. We saw another game unexpectedly.

This time we saw the Brooklyn Aviators play the Cape Cod Bluefins in a Federal Hockey League (FHL) game. They play at the Aviator Sports and Events Center at Floyd Bennett Field by Marine Park in Brooklyn.

As for the game we saw, the Aviators scored early and often as they lead, 6-1 after the first period. Things settled down on the scoreboard the rest of the way as the Aviators won the game, 7-3. Andrew Oswiak scored a hat trick as he scored three times in the first period.

Stay tuned as I'm going to write a special post about how I started 2012 on New Year's Day.

In addition, I'm going to do my 2011 year in review when I get a chance as well.

As always, thank you for reading and following along.

Happy New Year!

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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