Yesterday after many more family good times, we piled into the car and drove over to the Quad Cities (which consist of Davenport, Rock Island, Moline, and Bettendorf) to catch my first-ever AHL game.
Driving through the countryside from Iowa to Illinois we followed a breathtaking sunset that made the entire sky glow from orange to pink. Farmers’ fields spanned for miles while barns the colour of the ripest apples were perched next to veranda-wrapped homes. I also got my first view of the mighty Mississippi River as we crossed over it to reach the arena.
The Quad City Flames (formerly the UHL’s Quad City Mallards) play out of the iWireless Centre in Moline, Illinois. Last night they played the Milwaukee Admirals who are affiliated with the Nashville Predators.
No matter how much I cheered for the home team, that actually consisted of many good BC boys, I couldn’t bring myself to chant “Let’s go Flames”, being the true and loyal Canucks fan that I am.
For John‘s nephews, mom, and brother it was our way of exposing them to our favourite sport and in some way, a little piece of where we’re from. John really enjoyed teaching them all about the calls, the plays, and a little more about what he does as a part of that ‘day job’ of his.
I enjoy a good hockey game on any level and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. The Flames had speed, a phenomenal goalie, and the boys were pretty happy to see a fight only few minutes into the game. In QC the fans were pretty die-hard and everyone deserved that OT win by the Flames. They had chants, slogans, horns, cowbells, and they pretty much had a “sea of red” with all those sporting jerseys in attendance although unfortunately I was also reminded of this article:
Abbotsford is actively pursuing an American Hockey League franchise, and is negotiating with the Calgary Flames and others to get a deal signed before the 2009-2010 season.
Local businessman Lane Sweeting confirmed in an exclusive interview with the Abbotsford News yesterday that the Quad City Flames, Calgaryâ€™s AHL affiliate, is just one of the teams being sought to fill the 7,000 entertainment and sports centre when it is completed in spring 2009. [Abbotsford News]
If more hockey came to our region we’d have the WHL Vancouver Giants, NHL Vancouver Canucks, WHL Chilliwack Bruins and AHL Flames — I must admit it felt pretty good to be so far away from home and still be among people who loved their home-town team and loved the game and I’m not even sure Canucks fans in Abbotsford would support the “Flames”… or would they?
You can follow QC Flames news through their Twitter account, which I discovered after they added us both after the game last night.
Update March 12, 2009: Calgary has signed a deal with Abbotsford and the QC Flames will be moving.
“The Calgary Flames farm team in Quad Cities, Illinois is set to flicker into oblivion at the end of the season. After months of speculation, the Flames released the Quad City ownership group Thursday from the remaining three years of their minor-league affiliate agreement with the NHL club.” [Calgary Herald]