Reporting From Cobourg – Hobo!

As far as I can remember, the only American Hockey League game I ever went to was an exhibition contest in Barrie, Ont. in the early sixties between the Rochester Americans and Buffalo Bisons. Ron Clarke and I hitchhiked down from Orillia, got there early, and somehow managed to meet the Buffalo trainer, who let us hang out in the Bisons dressing room and gave us jobs as stick boys during the game. We then took the bus home, carrying sticks signed by the Buffalo team, which we promptly wrecked playing road hockey.

I suppose this winter I could spend six hours making my way to Abbotsford, east of Vancouver, to see the Bulldogs when they come to town to play the Heat, the Calgary Flames AHL affiliate, but I think I’ll pass on the long and tedious drive, the hotel room, and the several restaurant meals. Unless it’s a handy drive, no hotel involved, and cheap tickets and arena beer, I’m not donating any more greenbacks to the NHL. They have lots and I don’t. And we’ve seen how much they care about us.

I’d do what Hobo just did though. He drove a few minutes from his place to Cobourg to see the Bulldogs and Toronto Marlies in action, spent almost nothing, and he sends a nice little report about the affair.

Take it away, Hobo!

“It was the Marlies 3, Bulldogs 1, and the Marlies get full credit for the victory. The Dogs looked painfully like the parent club, not generating any kind of flowing offence, and losing in the last few minutes by taking a needless penalty. But at least they weren’t afraid to mix it up.

“The Cobourg rink is a great place to watch a game. We were in the last row of seating, about fifteen rows from the ice, and right behind us were Habs brass Larry Carriere and Rick Dudley in a makeshift press area. It took awhile for me to put names to these faces I recognized from somewhere, and I didn’t really talk to them much except to to tell them their little team played just like the big boys. I suppose they didn’t really need to hear this from a schmuck like me. It was interesting to eavesdrop on their conversation, though.

“Jarred Tinordi hardly played a shift for the first two periods but played more in the third. Brendan Gallagher didn’t dress. The Bulldogs pulled their goalie for an extra attacker and I heard Carriere say, “Hey, they only have five guys out there.”

“I really enjoy watching AHL games, especially at fifteen bucks a ticket. And Jake Gardiner was by far the best player on the ice. Too bad he was wearing the wrong colours.”

Thanks Hobo. Just great. And if anyone checks out the Bulldogs in action or any other minor-league tilts and wants to write a little bit about the experience, please sent it along. It would make for a nice post, just like Hobo’s today.

Here’s the lineup when Ron Clarke and I saw the Rochester Americans and Buffalo Bisons in Barrie. I didn’t realize until years later when I looked at this that Don Cherry was in the Amerks lineup. I guess he didn’t stand out.

13 thoughts on “Reporting From Cobourg – Hobo!”

  1. I live about 5-1/2 hours from Houston… I don’t think I’ll be catching Bulldogs there, either and IF they decide to settle this thing, I’m not sure my January 14 trip Dallas is even on.

    But I know when I see the Habs on TV, I’ll break and go. But if I see Bettman, I won’t brake and keep going…

  2. Hey Dennis,Right on for Hobo,I used to have an Aunt and Uncle that lived in Cobourg for years,I visited my Aunt there four years ago when I went back for the Grey Cup in Montreal,she passed away the next year but it was a great visit and saw some equally great sites.

  3. Hi Derry. That area down around there is nice. great location – close to Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal.

  4. Hey Dennis,Yes it is,right on Lake Ontario is a bonus as well.I would like to visit in the summer as the last two times I was there was during winter months.

  5. I don’t know if you can get TVA sports in your neck of the woods Dennis but they’re going to start showing Bulldogs games as of this Saturday I think.

    I’ll get the channel because I’m desperate for hockey.

    I went to one Bulldogs game (for 5$!) back in the Forum in the 90s. It was a pretty great game and we had some great seats. Even at the “high price” of 15$ a ticket I’d gladly go see them as much as I could if I lived in Hamilton. I find the game I went to was pretty good.

    Hobo needs to tell us more about what he overheard from those guys!

  6. Darth
    They were basically talking regular stuff like nice move or he’s gonna get caught again, stuff like that. The one thing that stands out was them talking about how they could use a smallish yet shifty right winger right about now to add some creativity in the offensive zone .

  7. Yeah, that shifty right-winger would be a 50 goal scorer for sure. He’d show the league how it’s done.

    I think you should have kidnapped them both Hobo until they both agreed to send Gomez to the moon..or at least try to trade him for Crosby. :)

  8. As I get older I find that the distance between Ottawa and Cobourg seems to be getting longer.

    Hobo, hopefully you know the answer to this little question I have every time I drive from Ottawa to Pickering. What are the little red lights that litter what looks like a large parking lot just south of the highway at the point where the third lane opens up?

    Darth that’s great news about TVA showing Bulldog games. The channel is freely available in Ottawa over the air from a Gatineau transmitter in digital high definition.

  9. Hey Dennis,According to my Aunt who is now gone,Cobourg was to become the capital of thus country at one time,little trivia for ya.

  10. Derry, I didn’t know that. That would mean Danno and Christopher and JW and all those folks would have to move to Cobourg if they wanted to live in the nation’s capital.

  11. I prefer to think of it as getting Harper out of my city.

    Living in the nation’s capital isn’t important to me, but I never would have come here if not for the high tech community that originated from government spinoffs. My mother would love it if I lived under an hour away from Pickering.

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