Oct. 29, 2006: Long Beach, Calif.
Fresno Falcons 6, Long Beach Ice Dogs 3
Thanks to a fortuitously timed trip for work, I was able to watch the Long Beach Ice Dogs host the Fresno Falcons at the Long Beach Arena, the hockey rink that looks like an aquarium.
The quality of play, in terms of puck possession and passing, was a bit better than I expected from the ECHL. The Ice Dogs came out well in the first period, but in the end form prevailed and the unbeaten Falcons beat the winless Dogs.
Hokey Minor League Touch: The home team skated onto the ice through a giant inflatable bulldog.
Local color: It was costume night, in honor of Halloween. In some cases it was hard to tell who was in costume and who just looked that way naturally.
The crowd was sparse. The team honored a season ticket holder who had attended more than 300 consecutive home games by taking him to center ice, giving him a chicken hat, and having him do the "Chicken Dance" with the mascot. If that's how they treat their best fans, I'd be tempted to skip a game once in awhile. But I think he got to keep the hat.
Game reports here and here.