After Friday's game, I was so excited to go back on Saturday. Forget that I hadn't gotten much sleep, or that I was going to have put 700 miles on my car before the weekend was over. I would get to watch another game, spend time with the Roberts clan (all of whom I love), hang out with Allison all day, and basically just have fun.
The drive was uneventful. I loved being able to chat with Allison; I will be very sad when she goes back home, but I will hopefully be able to visit her a few times. I hate that all my good friends keep moving away! We joined the Roberts family and Warren for dinner at Olive Garden. Will is seriously like my brother, and so I feel at home with his family. They all love the Lord; they are my brothers and sister, and they make me feel like part of their family. They show their love for others in their faces; I pray that I demonstrate that love to others as well. Warren I didn't know much before, but felt like I'd known him forever, too. If I were still in high school and hung out with people all the time like I did then, they would probably be some of my best friends (not like Will isn't now, but he's just not around much). I just love their personalities, their drive to succeed and to please God, and their focus. That's one reason I love working out with Will: he makes me do it right (because I want to) and pushes me hard to focus. He's a great role model; whatever he does, he does his best. I pray that whatever I do, I do with all my heart and to the glory of God, and that those who watch what I do know that I do it for an audience of One.
Plus the Roberts family makes me think. They are involved in so much that is focused on making other people better and glorifying the Lord, and I in comparison am involved in very little that I think really makes a difference to those around me. Most of what I do is self-centered, and I don't always use the gifts God has given me to encourage the body and build others up. Probably without realizing it, this family is going to make me better. I don't want ever to lose Will as a friend and thus lose his influence and the influence of his parents. They make me think critically, test the spirits, and dive into the Word, as well. More to come on that later; I can't wait to blog on it, but it's going to be a super long composition!
Saturday's dinner made me feel like part of a family again. I mean, I know I am a part of my own family, but my parents are so far away. With them, I could just relax and enjoy some great conversation. Did I mention that I love them all?
Allison and I headed over to the mall after dinner and found some great deals at Old Navy; that was worth the freezing cold walk across the parking lot--it was much colder than I'd anticipated! Then we went to the game, actually arriving early enough to watch them warm up and chat with Bill and Nancy. We'd communicated about the tickets beforehand, so they were actually at the front office waiting for us. We explored the building a little and then sat in the cold arena.
Saturday's game was against the Battle Creek Revolution. They never mentioned the attendance, but it didn't look quite as well-attended as Friday's game; there was actually room to breathe in our section, but there were people standing around the edges of the bleacher area. The game was not as consumed by fights, either, and the Icemen as a team were actually more fun to watch; they came out with intensity right away and a few looked like they were trying to play as a team.
During the game, Will and Warren played really well. Warren ended with a point (an assist), and Will had 2 penalty minutes (better than the 9 from the day before) and some good ice time. I don't think he played as much as on Friday, and I think the team hurt from it. However, the team won 3-2!
The refs were the same, and they still let the other team argue too much. However, they did make more calls. In the second period, the Icemen were on the power play (5-on-3 and 5-on-4) for at least 5 consecutive minutes (unfortunately they did not get 1 shot on goal that entire time). In the one major fight (just between two people), #11 (Icemen) knocked a Revolution into the goal post; he ended up being taken to the hospital, probably for stitches and to check for a concussion. It was at this point that Nancy mentioned that for one team Will was on, she was like the team ambulance and would usually end up taking 5 guys to the hospital and sit in the ER with them for the night because whatever league he was in was so rough. I don't know that this one will be much better, at least if the Shooters keep playing like they did on Friday night (Will said they play them 19 times during the season; I guess that's what happens when there are only 4 teams in your league).
The team at center ice after the win; they were more excited Saturday than Friday, but still weren't all that enthusiastic
The Icemen came out ahead, 3-2, and skated to center ice to thank the crowd. It was interesting to watch Warren try to encourage the guys to skate into the middle together faster (I couldn't hear what he was saying, but that's what his facial expression communicated). He (captain) and Will (assistant captain) will make good leaders on the ice, at least based on what I've seen of their play, and I have no doubt that if the guys want a leader off the ice, Warren and Will will do a good job (Warren did say that he'd led practice that day).
This pic didn't really fit anywhere else, but I wanted to get it in. He was just spectating during a down time; I think he was ready to play! A few other notes: Will's stick was broken during the game; who knew they cost $150 each? Warren and a few other guys came out to talk to the crowd after the game (I wish I could have gotten a pic with him in his jersey!) and talked to us. I think the coach got that part right; the group that was still there was happy to see some of the players, and it's good PR for them. Plus how great would it be if there were scouts out there, and when seeing them come out they had a chance to pick up Will and Warren? (Personally, I think they should move up quickly; they both have a lot of skill, game sense, and experience, and it showed during both games.)
After the game, we waited on the guys, Bill took a pic of us (which I hope to get and post) and he and Nancy left, and we went to eat with Will, Warren, and their friend and teammate (#19) Jason. It was refreshing just to get to hang out for an hour or so, listening to them talk and learning about them. Allison carried on a lot better conversation than I, especially since most of the talk centered on movies and TV shows, but I love to listen and learn. Finally we headed home, arriving at 3 or so. What a sleep-deprived weekend but so much fun!
When I do this again (I definitely will be watching as many games as I can--I love spending time with those guys and Will's parents!), I will not be driving back and forth both days. I'll crash somewhere in Evansville. The 8-pm start time seems pretty late, but the arena is used by other skaters as well, so maybe it's the only time that works. This time, I took them some cookies (Renee's recipe) and some good chocolate milk. I wonder what I can take next time that will be a little healthier but will still make them all happy? Someday soon I'll have to learn the names and numbers of the guys on the team so I can cheer for them as a team rather than just Will and Warren. 'Course if I do that, I'll know more than Will; he said they're only skating twice a week and therefore don't even really know all their own teammates! How different pro sports are from college sports! They will be traveling in 15-passenger vans, though, so if he doesn't learn their names then I'll start worrying even more about the coach!
It was so nice getting to spend some time with Allison (even though she slept most of the drive home!). We had some good conversation, and she's another one who makes me think a lot. It helps that we both go to the same church and are able to talk about what we've been learning and doing with what we've been learning. Me: not much; her: tons! So convicting. I'm going to miss this girl a ton when she moves.
- Friday: loss
- Saturday: win
- Don't miss exit onto 41/68/whatever it is off 24
- From whatever it is onto 24, the route has changed; just keep following the parkway even when it ends
- Tickets are $6 and worth it
- There and back: 5:10-5:20, 350 miles, and approximately 15 gallons of gas
- Arena: cold! It's definitely not like Sommet and is more like a home-town ice skating rink with bleachers.