Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Anaheim Ducks 3 at Dallas Stars 1 - March 1, 2015

One of the important qualities of a sports road tripper is knowing the teams and schedules in any area you are visiting because sometimes you are presented with an unexpected change in plans. Such was the case on Sunday, when the baseball game I had hoped to see at Dallas Baptist was cancelled due to inclement weather. I decided to change my flight back to New York to an earlier departure, and headed to the airport, dropping off my rental car in the process. As I was checking in, I was notified that my new flight had been cancelled (due to snow in New York), as had the flight I had originally booked. There were other later flights but I began to think that an extra night in Dallas was a better option than waiting all day at the airport on standby. That's because I knew the Stars were home with the Pacific-leading Ducks in town. I was able to rebook myself on a flight returning Monday and found a cheap hotel with an airport shuttle. When I arrived at my room, I found out that all flights to La Guardia had been cancelled, so I was happy to have made the right choice.

American Airlines Center is easily accessible from the airport by the DART Orange Line, and my hotel was right next to a bus stop that serviced Belt Line station, the first one after DFW. It took less than an hour to get to the arena and I arrived in plenty of time, picking up a ticket in the third row of the upper deck directly behind the net defended twice by the Stars. At $28 this is actually a pretty good deal as the end sections here are lower than those on the sides, a feature also apparent at the Barclays Center.

It was Military Appreciation night and upon entering, I was handed a camouflage Stars cap. Instant redneck!

The Stars also worse camouflage jerseys during warmup and these are being auctioned off this week. I prefer these to those garish green uniforms the team wears at home.

My camera battery had died, so I have no pics of the game, but Anaheim won 3-1, with all four goals being scored in the net above which I was sitting. Recently acquired Jhonas Enroth let in a weak goal early in the third to doom the Stars, who otherwise dominated play, outshooting Anaheim 40-22. the difference was fantastic play by Ducks keeper John Gibson, who earned the #7 spot on Sports Center's top 10 that night with a great diving stop that preserved the 2-1 lead. I was told that Corey Perry's opening goal was the highlight of the night on TSN; it was a nice goal but not that nice. I find it interesting that the two networks can choose a different play from the same contest and wonder if it reflects the different way they think about the game. The goal was not spectacular, but a display of skill ("a goal-scorers goal" it was referred to), while Gibson's stop had more of a "wow" factor, which appeals to ESPN's general approach to sports, where basketball dunks are given priority over plays that lead to wins. Check out the highlights on NHL.com, with Perry's goal coming right away and the save at the 1:10 mark and decide for yourself.


Coincidentally, I saw the same matchup last season when I was on my NFL road trip; at that time the Stars wore white so it was good to see their usual home uniforms, even if they are some of the worst in the league.

I did manage to get home the next day, but it took a few hours longer than usual as the plane I boarded first had to return to the gate after pushing back due to a computer issue. The pilot actually said they needed to "reboot" the plane, which I found amusing. I had begun to consider another night in Dallas with the Pelicans visiting the Mavericks, but Delta eventually found us another plane and I was soon back in New York and planning my next trip.



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