Playoff Hockey in Wilkes-Barre

It was great to get back to Wilkes-Barre this weekend to check out Mohegan Sun Arena once again, but I wish these heavy rain events would stop! This was my third straight trip (that includes a family visit to Rochester a few weeks ago) that took place in a non-stop rain and it was probably the first time that I needed an umbrella walking into the arena or I would run the risk of looking like I jumped in a pool before coming in.

The building hasn’t changed much since my last visit, but I did notice that those concourses are really tight and crowded. Food options were varied and I had a delicious $7 huge meatball hoagie that came with chips and a pickle. Also saw a stand that featured “Roast Beast”, a monster amount of roast beef and various toppings with a special sauce. I’ve seen 74 other facilities after my initial visit here and still love the interior. I’m a big fan of second level seating that is over the first bowl and high above the ice. MSA provides that as the view and seating in that second level is great. The lighting is a little awkward (bright in the middle, dark at the ends), but the older look with the exposed concrete is good. A couple things that brought my ranking down was their poor display of banners. I never like seeing teams overdue it with phony banners, but it was disappointing to see a team as successful as WBS only have one lonely banner for a 07-08 conference championship, when they have won two others. Plus no division titles displayed. Secondly, it is total chaos getting out of that parking lot. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but get ready for a free-for-all when 11 rows of cars try to merge into three. Hershey’s Giant Center took the lead back in my rankings, but Mohegan Sun is still #2 and a great AHL building. Check out the review updates on the right.

Fans are passionate and into it here, with a decent crowd of 6,152 in attendance for Game 2 of the Calder Cup division semifinals for Norfolk. I felt bad for them because the Baby Pens didn’t even score and the best team in the league went down 2-0 in their Best of Seven series. The crowd was clearly frustrated with the game and Norfolk did a terrific job defensively as they blocked probably over a dozen shots. Though I was disappointed not to see a home goal, part of me was secretly rooting for Norfolk as we’re going to be down there Memorial Day Weekend. There’s just a little glimmer of hope now for them getting to Round 3 and maybe, just maybe being at home in the Norfolk Scope for me to attend a baseball-hockey doubleheader. Go Admirals!

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