Last weekend, the NJ Colonial Coaches hosted the NJ Devil Alumni at Mennen Arena for a benefit hockey game. The “War to Restore NJ, Hockey Night in Morristown” was the brain-child of Sue DeBoer, (Peter DeBoer’s wife) and the first time the NJ Colonial Coaches played the Devils alumni in a charity event. Monies were raised for local charities to assist those in need affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund founded by Mary Pat Christie. In addition to 100% of the proceeds going to charity, there was also a food drive for the Interfaith Food Pantry serving the Morris County Area.
As the saying goes, the cream always rises to the top and as a Devils General newbie I was thrilled to take part in an event, that included the crème de la crème of the NJ Devils top brass. Last week, I had the privilege of joining Prudential Center’s PR extraordinaire, Kerry Graue and esteemed Devils General, @SpeakoftheDevs, Carlos Figueiredo for a press conference announcing the Albany Devils returning to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
My alarm clock was set to the unspeakable hour of 5:30 a.m. which gave me enough time to get ready to meet the group at the Prudential Center at 7:15 am. Yes, that was AM. Armed with containers of caffeine we made the trip down to Atlantic City to Boardwalk Hall. Once inside the building I was struck by the 137 foot-high barrel vault ceiling. Built in 1929 it was touted as an architectural marvel at the time. Today, it is simply just an awesome place to watch hockey. Read the rest of this entry
One of the many goals we have had this year at Mission Control is to show that the Devils really are JERSEY’S team. We have made a huge effort to spread our viewing parties around the state so all of our home town fans can have a chance to cheer, have a few drinks and enjoy some great food all in one place… together!
We sat down in August to plan out a schedule, discussed different options with one another about the various counties we come from, and then submitted a poll to our fellow fans to find out where our fans wanted to gather.
Ocean County, specifically the shore area, is the part of Jersey I call home. I couldn’t have been more excited to find a location down by me that would play host to a group of our passionate fans.
Simkos Grill in Brielle answered the call and the response from our shore area/south jersey fans was overwhelming. I lost count of how many fantastic people showed up to watch the game together. Simkos provided us with a beautiful glass enclosed porch, with two large screen TVs and surround sound; we filled the room! With over 100 people in attendance, we even took over a portion of the bar room!
Special guest Jim Dowd made the rounds, chatting with fans, posing for photos and signing autographs. He even let us check out his Stanley Cup Championship ring!
We gave away 4 pairs of tickets to various Devils home games in our raffle, and two lucky fans won themselves autographed sticks. One was signed by Ilya Kovalchuk, and the other signed by Patrik Elias.
As a further surprise, our beloved arena announcer, Kevin Clark, joined in the fun! Kevin told me he had never attended a viewing party before, and since this was nearer to his home, he thought he would come and see what it was all about.
Everyone I spoke to said they really enjoyed themselves, the food and the atmosphere. With the Devils treating us to a strong performance and a big win over Pittsburgh, we were attracting some major attention from the other patrons with our chanting and cheering, too!
With three months left in the regular season, and high hopes that we’ll be able to continue into the playoffs, keep your eyes on our viewing party schedule. If there is any area we haven’t visited, be sure to leave us some ideas in the comments!
I would also like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has come to our gatherings so far. To my fellow shore fans, thank you for making our Simkos party such a huge success! Thanks to you, I can envision more events coming to our area in the future!
The fans took over Anthony’s and ate up! Anthony’s set us up with some great food and drink specials. Between the wings, ribs and speciality pizza’s, there was plenty of food going around. Oh and I forgot about the sausage and peppers plates and flatbread. Needless to say, we were stuffed.
Our very own Jim Dowd stopped by and was happy to take pictures and sign autographs. A Patrik Elias bobblehead and an autographed Travis Zajac stick were raffled off in addition to our table of giveaways for everyone who stopped by.
There was a great turn out with plenty of red flowing through the doors and Devils stamped cars in the parking lot. Fans mingled with other fans, talked about what they expected out of the Devils this season and how excited they were for opening night. Some fans just talked about how excited they were for Jim Dowd, and that’s cool too. Thanks to everyone who joined us, see you on Saturday for Opening Night!
Check out more photos on our Flickr.