We drove to Los Angeles on Monday afternoon and went straight to see Lisa. Lisa was Dan’s girlfriend just before he passed away. We have stayed in touch with her and were looking forward to seeing her. We were greeted immediately by her very large mixed breed dog named Zipper. He is as gentle as a kitten, but I wouldn’t want to tick him off. He is one big puppy. We stayed at her place for two days and got a personal guided tour of the LA area, including Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, and Hollywood.
A short drive away, we were going first to see the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. We went to the team practice on Wednesday morning and to the game on Thursday evening. The Ducks have been on a bit of a tear and had only lost one game till that point in their schedule. The Flyers came into town and cleaned up though and handed them their second loss of the season. The community department for the team took us for a visit with a group of children before the Ducks game, that were involved in an after school program for kids from a mostly Hispanic neighbourhood. We saw one group at their local roller rink where they played roller hockey and then went over to the Paul Revere Elementary School and met with another group there. They are huge hockey fans and Graham spoke for a bit to the kids at the school about dreams and goals. They are all involved in the Disney Goals program and are crazy about hockey (and the Ducks) and setting goals for yourself. They were a great group of kids that asked a lot of good questions about hockey. Disney and the Junior Ducks and the Anaheim organization have partnered to fund a program for kids that normally wouldn’t be able to afford to play hockey or the equipment. Check out their pictures on the site. We stayed at a RV park near The Pond (which is now called the Honda Center) that was pretty neat. They had citrus fruit trees at each site and encouraged you to pick the fruit. We got some pretty tasty oranges and limes right off the tree. It was also quite warmer in the LA area and didn’t cool down as much at night. After one night staying in Anaheim, we went back to the LA area and camped right at the beach in a State Park at El Segundo. Talk about nice. The temperature averaged 80F the two days we stayed there. Not hard to take for these two sun starved canucks. Another loss for the home team while we are on tour and our record now stands at 5 and 2. We now have 7 teams down and 23 to go.
Graham's Game Report
Wed Nov 15
Anaheim Ducks vs. Philadelphia Flyers
This game looked to be a mismatch with the 30th place team facing #1 on their own pond. Glad I wasn’t betting in Vegas with Tom S. We would have lost our shirts. The Flyers jumped out to a 5-1 first period lead and even though the Ducks pressed hard the rest of the way it ended as a 7-4 upset. Shots were more than two to one in the Ducks favour but the Flyers defended well and made Anaheim pay for every mistake. Forsberg, Gagne and Knuble are a strong first line and Michael Richards still leads by example as he did in Kitchener. Scott Niedermayer is the smoothest D in the game and the Ducks are very strong on the backend. A little small up front but very quick and skilled. Young Dustin Penner had a strong game up front and adds some much needed size. It was good to see Dan’s Chicago Wolves teammate, Joe DiPenta getting a regular shift on the blueline. He was steady as always back there. Well done Flyers for a rare two points on the road.