So many times here I have talked of our love of Charger Hockey. I started going to games in 1999 when I started school at UAH. When W and I met I got him to start going to games with me. Since we started going to games together we have probably only missed a handful of games. We took Alvin to his first game at 6 months and Elliot went to her first game at 2 weeks and only about a week out of the NICU.
So to say the least we are dedicated Charger Hockey fans!
When I started looking at getting a job out of state one of the things that we talked about really missing is Charger Hockey.
In the past 4 years or so the hockey community has become family of sorts. The Charger hockey family being the closest of those people. Once Danton Cole took over W and I started going to coaches luncheons with Alvin. He immediately was very personable and talked to us quite a bit. We got to know him and the rest of the coaching staff including the current head coach Chris Luongo. We have gotten to know them and they know us on a personal level. It is like extended family. We have even gotten close to a few of the guys on the team and their parents. Last year Alvin took a liking to Brandon Roshko at one of the skate with the Charger public skating sessions. We ended up getting his jersey at the end of the year and to see the smiles on both of their faces was priceless. Now we seem to talk the Bill Burkholder a good bit as well as incoming freshman goal tender's dad Joe Groh. The funny thing is over the years most people first ask me how the kids and W are before anything else! Even the team gets involved with the kids at skate with the Chargers.
We even know most of the security staff at the VBC. Many of them have watched Alvin and Elliot grow up over the past couple of years. We talk to these same people every single home series. Most try to interact more with the kids and really seem to like seeing us every week. They also are fine with us going down to watch warmups on ice level. They always know we will be returining to our seats and generally understand that I'm just doing it to give the kids an upclose and personal view of the action.
Then there is W. Don't let him fool you when he talks about it. He is very humble but some of the shots he gets are amazing. Any doubt just look at his flickr stream. Especially this shot. His attitude with players and coaches alike is one I've never seen before. He has a standing philosophy that anything he shoots that the guys or their families want just let him know and he will give them the full resolution copies or prints for free. Many of the guys that play here don't have family that can come to a lot of games so its important for him to try and help them share what they are doing with family back home. He has amazing dedication to what he does and the players and coaching staff alike.
Leaving this program and the atmosphere kills me. We have come to love and respect the program so much and now we are leaving.W and I have talked many times about what it is going to feel like at our last game. Its going to really kill us in a way. No matter what the record and how they play its just what we do and no longer having that is going to be difficult. I'm just going to go ahead and say it. Our last game I'll be a wreck. The complete realization that it will be sometime before we make it back to a game is going to hit really hard.
This program has meant a lot to us over the years. The move we are making is for the best and I know once we get up there we will see more hockey and come to enjoy other teams. We will order B2 networks broadcasts of the games and even join the Blue Line Club but it just wont be the same.
No matter what happens we will never forget the UAH Charger Hockey team and what it has meant to us over the past few years.