Thursday, January 11, 2007



After crossing the border yet again to get back to Canada, we had a good night's rest at the Comfort Inn. It was a long day in Buffalo. We were lazy and slept in a bit and drove towards Toronto for a quick meeting at lunchtime and then made our way on to Ottawa. The drive through the Spadina area and up through Chinatown was actually quite interesting on a Saturday morning. Everyone was out shopping at the local produce stands that spilled out onto the streets from the front of their shops. It was a dull cloudy day and all the fruits and vegetables were so colourful and bright. The quick meeting wasn't quick, but that was OK. We arrived finally in Ottawa at 8:00PM and settled in our hotel that the team had booked for us right near the arena. It is quite a change from staying in the RV at campsites. We usually payed on an average of 20-30 dollars per night's stay. And we stayed at some really nice places for that price. For some reason, the hotels charge more than that. Go figure. We were of course looking forward to visiting with Dany sometime during our stop in Ottawa. As is usual, we played telephone tag with him all week, but finally decided that we could meet after the game on Sunday afternoon. We had also arranged to visit some our fellow fans from the paralympic games in Torino, Italy. We attended the games in February of 2006 to watch the Canadian National Men's Sledge Hockey Team. Graham's brother Jeff is the head coach and it was a huge thrill to be at all the games, but especially for the gold medal game which the guys won. Todd Nicholson was the captain of the team and we were meeting with him and his very enthusiastic family members for breakfast on Sunday morning. Well, morning arrived and we were off to breakfast. There was a smaller representation of the Nicholson clan. There were only eight of them. A small group by their standards I'm sure. Mom, Carol and Dad Stuart were along though and it was good to catch up and visit with everyone present. Talked of course veered to the Vancouver games and were we all going to be there for the team to defend their gold medal. We said our good-byes to the Nicholsons and made our way over to the Scotiabank Center. I had only been there once before when it was the Corel Center. A few of us family members drove through a terrible snow storm to watch Dan play with the Thrashers. Dan seemed to have this knack of sitting in the penalty box for most of the game, or getting kicked out of the game when we would travel a long distance to see him play. That particular time was no different. He got kicked out of the game at the beginning of the second period. He managed to find out where our seats were though and we got to sit and visit with him for the rest of the game. He was very contrite and apologetic. Sorry mom, I can't believe that happened again, he said. Oh well, what can you do. I was just happy to see him. Ottawa made a rout of the game and defeated the Flyers soundly. Dany had two goal and an assist and had a good game. We were happy to see him after the game and enjoyed a nice long visit with him and Sara. No media, no fans hovering around, just the four of us. This is stop number 17 and our record for the home team now stands at 11 and 6. On to Montreal.

Graham's Game Report

Jan 7, 2007
ScotiaBank Place
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Ottawa Senators

We saw the Flyers for the third time on the road this trip and unlike the previous two upsets in California this one was an easy 6-1 rout for the home side. The Flyers stayed in the game for most of the first period but the Sens had their own way the rest of the day. Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson led the scoring parade and Martin Gerber recorded his first win at home this season for the Sens. Ottawa looks like they are back on track after a shaky start this year and are slowly climbing back towards the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference. We had a chance to chat with Dany Heatley after the game and hardly recognized the smile with the new front tooth. I'm sure we'll see the Senators back in the playoffs this season.

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