Royalty Tours USA

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Royalty meets up with roadtripper Andrew Van Cleve for Devils/Flyers Game 3 at the Prudential Center!

Legendary Devil Fan Baumann
I thought my hockey season was over once the baseball season started but thanks to my pal Andrew Van Cleve that changed.

Since I didn't buy the playoff tickets for the Devils who I have season tickets for, I planned to just skip them altogether. With all the baseball games I had planned, I had plenty on my plate already. It just so happened the Devils were playing the Philadelphia Flyers on a rare night off.

I was initially looking forward to going home after work that night to rest up and take it easy. Then I got an e-mail at work saying that I was invited to a meet and greet work related get together. So I got excited since it fit right into my busy schedule.

All of a sudden, the Devils advanced to the second round of the playoffs and they were scheduled to play that night too.

With that being said, Andrew contacted me and asked me if I was going to the game. I reluctantly said maybe, I'll wait and see.

As it got closer, I told him I'll meet him out there. I wound up going to the get together I had. I left a little early so I could meet up with Andrew at the Prudential Center in Newark.

While I was on the train he was outside the arena trying to round up a few tickets for us. It wasn't easy. He let a few go because they were too pricey for my liking. Trust me I'm not made of money just creative ideas.
I finally got out there around 7:10PM. The game was supposed to start at 7:30PM really closer to 7:40PM when they finally drop the puck.

Shortly after I met Andrew he was able to get a single ticket for a decent price on the lower level.

Unfortunately we still needed another one. We kept trying and trying. Finally after the game started we were able to luckily get another one thanks to Andrew's persistence. He's a great guy. He missed the start of the game because of me. He decided to wait until we both got a ticket before he went in. That says a lot about the kind of person he is.

I decided to go out there without a ticket because I knew he was driving up from Philadelphia to do the same.

Like I say, teamwork makes the dream work. In the last few years since we met in Chicago, we've taken turns helping each other out. I know I'm truly blessed to have responded to an e-mail he wrote me a few years ago.

As for the game we saw, we got in right as the Flyers scored the first goal of the game at the 6:08 mark of the first period on the power play. We just missed seeing it.

We decided to flop into some empty seats we saw on the lower level where we entered. Quite amazingly, I sat right across the aisle from a long time Devil fan I recognized. I don't even know his first name but his last name is Baumann. He's been coming to Devil games long before they won their first Stanley Cup back in 1995. He was notorious for originally starting the Devil chant of give me a D, give me an E, give me a V, give me an I, give me a L and give me a S. Then he would ask the crowd what's that spell. They replied DEVILS, he said what's that spell, DEVILS. Then he would lead the crowd by clapping and yelling Let's Go Devils! He used to sit in section 230 at the old Meadowlands Arena. I hadn't seen or heard him in a number of years. When I noticed him I said to myself he lives. It made me feel good to know that.

By going to the game, I got to see Andrew and a long time Devil fan, so my decision to go was a wise one indeed.

As for the rest of the game once Andrew and I got settled in, we saw a pretty exciting and entertaining game to say the least. I honestly didn't care who won but our pal Kurt Smith, author of Ballpark E-Guides is a big Flyer fan so I was rooting for him.

After the Flyers scored first, the Devils scored twice 20 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead after the first period. In the second period, the Flyers scored early on to tied it up at two. In the third period, the Devils scored to retake the lead, 3-2. They tried to hold on but the pesky Flyers found a way to tie it up again at three with just nine minutes left in regulation time. Unlike the regular season, they play sudden death overtime. So whoever scores first wins. I honestly didn't need overtime but this is the playoffs and nothing beats that this time of year. That's what makes the hockey playoffs so exciting. An odd bounce can cost you a game and possibly a chance to hoist the sacred Stanley Cup aka the holy grail. It was looking like the game was going to go to a second overtime period but with 2:39 left, the Devils capitalized on a Flyer mistake as they got caught on a shift change in the Devil zone. As a result, the Devils' Alexei Ponikarovsky who was a mid season pick up cashed in on his own rebound which gave the Devils' a thrilling 4-3 overtime win. With the victory, they took a two games to one lead in the series. I felt bad for Kurt. That's the way it goes. Andrew wasn't too happy either. He wanted to see another hockey game close to home.

After the game, Andrew and I said our goodbyes and we went on our way home.

Barring a miracle, my hockey season for all intents and purposes should be over now.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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