Falling further and further behind on my posts so this actually happened on Friday as it’s Monday now here but might still be Sunday in Toronto so it won’t seem so far behind but in my time this happened 3 days ago which makes it hard to remember everything that happened as there has been a few nights of beers between now and then and getting old has its advantages but memory is not one of them especially when it includes a couple pucks to the noggin . So from what I recall the day started with coffee ... yes I know this is a recurring thing but if I don’t caffeinate Kathleen she might kill me in my sleep so it’s best to feed her what she wants . Off to check out Miss Maud’s Carillon which is down the road from my hotel . I couldn’t resist having a big breakfast as I’m not sure what my eating schedule will be since I have two ice times and who knows what else is planned . The food there was good and Kathleen was more then happy with the amount of java provided in the large cup we ordered and I see more coming from this place in the future . Two thumbs up from both of us . The plan for the day is Kathleen goes to the beach and I go to the rink so she takes off early enough and I wait in the hotel until 11 am when my buddy James Brown comes to pick me up for our first skate of the day .
We head off to Cockburn Arena when he arrives which is in another part of the city that is closer to where James lives . There is a stick and puck session which is basically unorganized open ice time for hockey which runs for 3 hours and is $25 per person and yes even I had to pay even though I’m a goalie and apparently they never have goalies . This is probably the first time I have ever paid for shinny of any sort on any continent but I didn’t bitch or moan and I just mentioned the fact to James . All we cared about was getting on the ice and I had a feeling I was going to have to pay .... whatever ! When we got there we saw one skater training with another and there were a couple more skaters and oddly enough as we were getting dressed a few of them left ? I asked if I scared them away and I think they were shocked to see a goalie but opted to leave anyways . When I got on the ice the remaining 3 skaters were resting on the bench and then one of them skated over and said he’s heard of me . It’s always fun to hear that people know who I am because really in the big picture I’m nobody so a little recognition goes a long way . This young fella goes on to say he heard I’m from Egypt ??? Huh ? I told him no I’m Canadian and he went back to the bench to tell whoever told him this that they were wrong and I think there was some confusion over one of them explaining about my picture in front of the pyramids . Hahaha ! This ice time basically became a shout-out competition for over 2 hours which if you’re a goalie then you should know is very exhausting ... Bruce Ross then entered the building and the chirping began . One of the guys on the ice was asking if I’m playing any league games and I told him I’m playing Sunday and we figured out we will be facing off against each other . He was good and sniped me quite a few times but I think he knew it would be different in a game . I am pretty sure his name was Scott but I kept calling him dangles and I chirped everyone and made poses for them when I stopped them and I am sure we all had fun messing around on the ice and time honestly flew . The kid that asked if I was Egyptian scored top shelf and I chirped him by asking if he took some viagra to get it up , I tossed out some good chirps and I’m sure that all the guys shooting on me were wondering who the hell this guy was . After being on the ice for over two hours I was burnt out and needed to get off the ice as our time was just about done anyways .... I’m not even gonna get into the fact that dangles was scoring on me with a broken twig at the end of our ice time and I was so wiped out I couldn’t even bother waving my blocker at shots . That kids got some skills let’s see how he does in a game when we play them on Sunday night . After we showered we went to the bar in the rink and we all ordered some wings which we were lucky to have on sale this day and they were really good and much better then the other wings I’ve had on this trip and in fact are better then any wings I’ve had outside of North America but that is expected in a bar that is fashioned to be a Canadian bar which sells Molson products , has poutine and even makes their Caesars with Clamato juice !!! The decor in this rink is all hockey related and the rink has two ice pads with one dedicated to public skating and the other dedicated to hockey and figure skating ⛸ . The facility is very impressive , dressing rooms are nicely sized and showers were nice and warm with even filtered water stations for filling water bottles . The ice was in good shape also and was not too soft and I would say this rink is much better then the PIA one but there is always some form of politics and rhyme and reason to why things are the way they are based on location and who runs the rink and what rink lets the guys away with more comforting aspects like drinking in the parking lot and this isn’t the case here but I’m sure holds some merits . Regardless if I lived here I would be on this ice as much as I could and I’m not sure if they have a league there also but I would probably check it out if I had the option but on this trip I am in good hands with my new and old friends over at the rink in Malaga which everyone pronounces MyLager lol 😝
After wings and beers with Bruce and James we had to disperse as Bruce needed to go get ready for the scrimmage he’s organized which means picking up beers and meat fro the after ice time parking lot bbq ! And James took me by his place to meet his kids Matilda and Beatrice and his lovely wife Stacey who I last saw at a Joe Rogan comedy show before they moved here and had these two little energetic kangaroos that hopped around with joy when they met me . They were both so cute and it was nice to remember how it was to be a kid meeting new people as they did .... showing me their toys and their bedroom and all ... do you remember being like that ? I definitely do and haven’t had those memories rekindled in a long time so it was nice to see some children aren’t stuck to their iPhones and iPads as most are these days . It’s sad but true isn’t it ☹️ time was flying and it was already time to head to our next ice time after going to the drive through liquor store .... yes I said drive through liquor store ! We didn’t drive through but opted to go inside to see what our beer of choice would be and beer is not cheap here at all . I picked up a 6 pack of a local IPA that ran me $26 or $27 , how insane is that ? We saw a local beer that I liked and a 24 was $88 ? Who pays that much for beer 🍻 really ? Well unfortunately, Australians do ! Crazy but we needed some beer for after our ice time . Beer league is not beer league without beer . This scrimmage will have some old friends and new friends ... if any old school Ghetto Blasters are reading this then they might notice Brandon Bailey seen above with me who played for our squad in 2012 and went on holiday and never came back ! James was there obviously and Lara and Bruce and the other goalie was a really cool dude named Levon Wilson who is the ebug for the Perth Thunder AIHL team here . If you are wondering what an ebug is then I will explain . Emergency Back Up Goalie 😜 basically a nicer way to say third stringer . He started playing goal 6 years ago at the age of 41 and now he is 25 going on 18 and has more energy then James’ children 🤪 it was a pleasure and an honour facing off against you bud and you get nothing but respect from me even when we played each other .
We had the ice for an hour and had a good time out there with everyone getting their chance to score on either myself or Levon as we switched ends halfway through the ice time and honestly everyone was a winner today with no need for score keeping or bragging . There were beers in the room after and then even more in the parking lot as the bbq cooked up some sizzlers for us and we all shared and laughed at each other’s war stories as Levon blared some Tragically Hip in the background . It’s a long weekend here as it’s Australia Day tomorrow and there was fear that this event might not happen because people tend to go away on weekends but this event filled up in something like 20 minutes after it was posted that I was coming .... did everyone want to have a chance at scoring on me or is this bbq that legendary ? I would say they came for the camaraderie and even Brandon had never been before and probably found himself wondering why he hasn’t before and I would be shocked if it doesn’t become a regular thing . I know if I lived here it would be the one excuse to get in trouble with my woman for coming home late 😬 this really was a good showing of how tight knit the hockey community is here as some even brought their better halves out for some fun and nobody seemed to want to leave as the beers were flowing and the last of the sizzlers were cooked up and gobbled . It’s always nice to know you have friends and after this night out I can say I made a bunch of new friends and rekindled some old friendships as today was so much fun hanging with James Brown on our Hockey Day In Perth .