Well, the weekend came and went pretty quickly. It was a long, painful wait for the Saturday afternoon ECHL tilt in Wheeling. The painful part was due to an airsoft CQB (Close Quarters Battle) game I played on Saturday. It was my first game in about 8 months, and it was pretty fun. With about five minutes to go in the final round, I took a BB to the finger and it was pretty painful for the next few days. Luckily, it wasn’t broken.
Now, onto the game! We set out for Wheeling, WV from Pittsburgh at about 10:30 A.M. for the 2:00 P.M. puck drop. We arrived early, took advantage of the free pre-season parking, and got our ticket. All seats were just $5, so we picked two seats at the top of the lower section just to the right of the penalty boxes. I was a bit upset that Wheeling’s newest scrapper was no in the lineup to face Cincinnati’s ‘goon squad’. Adam Ross would be Wheeling’s only hope to fend off Alex Penner, Mike Liambas, and Justin Sawyer. Alex Penner made himself WELL-known from start to finish. He spent most of the game trying to fight Adam Ross and even threw a few elbows. His screaming in the penalty box and chirping at fans made the game worth it to attend. However, Penner never dropped the gloves. He did score a goal, but it only put a dent in Wheeling’s four goal lead at the time. Adam Ross dropped his gloves on three occasions, but only his second encounter with Cory McGillis earned him a five minute penalty.
To get away from the fighting aspect of the game, Scooter Vaughan was the most impressive player all day on the ice besides Wheeling’s goalie duo. Vaughan looked to be in mid-season form with break away after break away. I counted at least five steals by him throughout the game. He only scored once, but he was an absolute terror for the Cyclones’ defense. I look forward to watching Vaughan play this season in Wheeling.