Waterloo Black Hawks and Ohio Jr. Blue Jackets, that is.
I finally got around to checking out Columbus’ USHL entry, after not going to any games last year. This game was played at the Ice Haus, unlike most of their games last year, which were in the big building. Ice Haus certainly seems better suited to the size of the crowd. There were maybe a couple hundred there yesterday.
This was my first ever USHL game. Although it’s been a few years since I’ve been to an OHL game, I’d say that this was definitely not to that level, but compared favorably with Tier 2 Junior A in Canada, like the CJHL. There were more spectacular hits than I’ve seen for awhile in the NHL. The action was fast, and damn, are the OJBJs channeling the spirit of Doug MacLean — I’ve never heard quite so many f-bombs directed at the officials. In the end, the Jackets lost 3-2 in a shootout that had to go into extra rounds.
I do hope to make it back to some more games this season. The price is right — free, for being a Dispatch subscriber — and the hockey is fun.
Ken Hitchcock was in the house, watching the first period. And I could have sworn Chris Wells was in the stands scouting. Although I wasn’t quite sworn enough to go up and say “Hey Wellsy!” and risk looking like a crazy person when it wasn’t him.