Friday, January 6, 2012

Prairie Trip Planned - Leafs in Alberta and 2 Jets Games!

After a rather dull 2011 with only one extended sports roadie, I'm starting off 2012 with a 3-week jaunt back to Canada to catch the Leafs' two-game trip in Alberta as well as two Winnipeg Jet games as part of my effort to see all active NHL rinks. After this, I'll only have Boston and Carolina to take care of, which will be done next season.

Filling out the schedule will be a number of WHL tilts and even one day of Canadian college sport, something I have not seen since I graduated a couple of years ago. (Update: Found a Jr. B hockey game the same night and am debating about which to watch.)

Interestingly, it is cheaper to fly to LA first and then get a separate flight to Calgary, which also allows me to add some other games on both ends of the trip. There's an NBDL and NCAA basketball game on the way over, although I'm waiting until later to decide which NCAA game to see on the 9th, depending on how the teams are doing. Since the Pauley Pavilion is undergoing renovations, UCLA is playing at the LA Sports Arena for most of the season, so I'm leaning toward the USC game as I prefer to see teams in their usual surroundings. (Update: USC are terrible this year, so I'm going to see UCLA after all).

The NCAA baseball season starts in February as well, so I'm hoping to catch a few innings at Pepperdine before moving over to Staples Center to watch the T-Wolves and Clippers. There's also an NCAA golf tournament I'll try to see that morning. I had an indoor soccer league game in Anaheim on the schedule but the available flights were too late arriving so I decided to spend another day in Calgary and watch the WHL's Hitmen.

This trip has taken a while to plan, with many changes as new games were discovered, but the schedule below is more or less final:
Wed Feb 8   Tulsa 66ers at Los Angeles D-Fenders (NBDL) 7:00
Thu Feb 9 Stanford at UCLA (NCAA Basketball) 7:30
Sat Feb 11 Prince Albert Raiders at Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) 7:00
Sun Feb 12 Brandon Wheat Kings at Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) 6:00
Tue Feb 14 Toronto Maple Leafs at Calgary Flames 7:00
Wed Feb 15 Toronto Maple Leafs at Edmonton Oilers 8:00
Thu Feb 16 Lloydminster Bobcats at Camrose Kodiaks (AJHL) 7:30
Fri Feb 17 Swift Current Broncos at Saskatoon Blades (WHL) 7:00
Sat Feb 18 Regina Cougars at Saskatchewan Huskies (CIAU Women's Basketball) 6:15
Sat Feb 18 Regina Cougars at Saskatchewan Huskies (CIAU Basketball) 8:00
Mon Feb 20 Moose Jaw Warriors at Swift Current Broncos (WHL) 2:00
Tue Feb 21 Philadelphia Flyers at Winnipeg Jets 6:00
Thu Feb 23 Tampa Bay Lightning at Winnipeg Jets 7:30
Fri Feb 24 Moose Jaw Warriors at Regina Pats (WHL) 7:00
Sat Feb 25 Swift Current Broncos at Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) 7:00
Sun Feb 26 Kelowna Rockets at Calgary Hitmen (WHL) 4:00
Tue Feb 28 The Del Walker Match Play (NCAA Men's Golf) at Long Beach, CA 9:00
Tue Feb 28 USC Trojans at Pepperdine Waves (NCAA Baseball) 3:00
Tue Feb 28 Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Clippers 7:00
Wed Feb 29 Loyola Marymount Lions at Cal State Fullerton Titans (NCAA Baseball) 4:00
As usual, I will be updating the blog, so check back regularly during that time.



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