Thursday, December 06, 2007

Broncos Check Out.... See you December 28th

Ah yes, the United States road swing is upon the Broncos hockey club as they shuffle out west for the six game in nine day trek through the Northwest United States.

Over the next 9-10 days I will attempt to blog and post some pics from each day on the journey. It's something I did the last time the Broncos headed to the States back in 2004/05 from the Eagle 94.1 FM's website. I received a lot of good response from the behind the scenes photos on the trek. Check back here daily for news, notes and best of all some pics.

The Broncos haven't made the journey for three seasons. They last did it back in 2004/05 and posted a decent record of 2-2-1. There isn't a player left on today's roster who was on that trip. It was Dean Chynoweth's first year as Head Coach/GM of the Broncos.

The trip started with a bang in Everett. In the posh confines of the Everett Event Center the Broncos posted a 2-0 win. Tyler Redenbach had both goals and the loud and boisterous Everett crowd never got a chance to roar with Kyle Moir making all 19 saves for the win. The game was a biggie after the teams hooked up on a four player trade earlier in the season. The Broncos shipped Alex Leavitt and Kyle Annesley to the Tips for Marc Desloges and Barry Horman.

What a building and what a fan base! I can recall the "Dance for Your Dinner" promotion in the intermission where nearly 7000 fans stood up and turned the intermission into one big dance party. I just watched with my mouth open and snapped some pics of the craziness.
I was praying to god they didn't score. The place would have went bananas after a couple cross bars and chances in the third. The national anthem blew the roof off the place. This opera-like singer busted out a deep, powerful Star Spangled Banner that made me shiver. It was amazing. The atmosphere was electric.

The road trip went a bit south from there. The Broncos were blanked in Dean Chynoweth's return to the Key Arena in Seatlte 3-0. It wasn't a happy mood post-game. The fun and excitement had ended at that point and the reality of wins and losses set in.

The next game wasn't much better. A 4-0 defeat in Portland at the hands of the Winterhawks. It could have been 10-0 if not for Kyle Moir in the Broncos goal. He was brilliant as I recall. The one thing I remember about Portland was the absolute feeling that it was 1977 in the Memorial Coliseum. A huge building that hasn't seen any upgrades in decades. I was seriously waiting for the disco ball to be lowered and the Bee Jees to be pumped over the speakers. Even this hippie husband/wife duo played an instrumental version of both the National Anthems. All I could think of was how they reminded me of Sonny and Cher's "I got You Babe".

The Broncos rebounded the next night in Tri-City with a 4-2 win over the Americans with an empty netter to seal the deal. It was my first look at Carey Price as a 16 year-old goaltender. He was just ok. Who knew he would become the superstar goaltender of today?

The Broncos closed off with a U.S. portion of their trip with a hard-fought come-from-behind 4-4 tie in Spokane. The Chiefs jumped all over them early with two goals in the first 1:17 of the game. The Spokane goal song and unique crowd cheer still echoes in my head. Here's a link of what that's all about:

The Broncos fought back in the third with two quick goals just seconds apart from Marc Desloges and Brady Leavold's first ever goal to actually take the lead midway through the final frame. The Chiefs tied it late and overtime solved nothing.

Here are some pics I found from the roadie from three years ago...

Broncos celebrate big win in Everett

Loudest barn in the 'dub. No contest. Everett Events Center

Oops! Forget to mention the Monday Night NFL game we took in between Seattle and Dallas. Easily the best sporting event I've been to.

We were given a tour of Quest Field the day before the big game.

The fantastic Spokane Arena. It's Teddy bear toss night Saturday when the Broncos are there. It will be crazy.

Here's a blast from the past. Assistant Coach Dave Hunchak live in our postgame show from Tri-City.

Back on the bus. (L to R, David Schulz, Jeremy Schenderling, Luke Hunter and Donny Lloyd)

Unloading at Seattle's Key Arena. The Sonics had just finished a game a couple hours before. The next night it was the Broncos and T-Birds.

There are so many moments and great stories that get lost over time but I can recall that trip like it was yesterday. This year's trip will be a whole lot tougher. The teams are better, the games are more closely situated and the Broncos will hope to find their game along the way.


- Thanks to Oh-Vee for that e-mail... that was an interesting read for sure. I think I'll leave that little tidbit off the blog though.

- The Broncos begin the swing in Kootenay against the Ice. We will have the broadcast beginning tomorrow night at 7:30pm with the pre-game show, play-by-play at 8pm.



macker said...

The Chiefs goal song was introduced by Mr. Candace Cameron (Val Bure) and has stuck around ever since. Nice Pics... Enjoy the trip. Do you have time for another NFL game?

Jon Keen said...


How was the song introduced? What role did he play in it?

No NFL game this year. The schedule just doesn't line up. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Great job Jon! You are doing a nice job of showing the human side to the Broncos.
This is something I see everyday and few understand it the way you do.
There is a lot more to the game than just playing it.