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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

Then We Went To Pittsburgh


By Fred Wallace

On to Pittsburgh last Saturday with the SMHLPA as part of a weekend NHL hockey doubleheader which started the night before in Buffalo.

As much as I recommend the HSBC Arena in Buffalo as hockey destination, I also hold the Mellon Arena in high regard.

By bus, the aging but functional Mellon Arena is exactly 8 hours from where I sit and very well marked for those to navigate.

The Mellon is right across the street from the Pittsburgh Marriott where they have a marvelous pre-game get together with ESPN Radio Live and fully stocked bar.

You may have heard there's a new Pittsburgh Arena being constructed, and you're right. And here's the cool part, it's right beside the Mellon.

The Penguins-Rangers match was an important game for both teams as they tried to solidify their hold on playoff spots in the East.

I was fascinated to see the Penguin strategy for handling former Plater Sean Avery.

Before Avery could get rolling, Tyler Kennedy challenged him on the first shift and then engaged him in a fight on the second.

Far more impressive was the game winning goal by Sidney Crosby who burst through a seam in the Ranger defence and chopped home the game winner in a 4-3 Pittsburgh win.

There's more of course; Sky-Box seats, Crosby jerseys, the Mellon Executive Box, the Church Brew Works on Liberty Avenue and the gutsiest scalper of all time.

But we'll save that for another day when we're talking about Pittsburgh & NHL Hockey.

I'm Fred Wallace


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