Picture it: Toronto, late March 2008. Having been for the most part shunned by my hometown heroes and their policy of making it incredibly difficult for non-Ottawa residents to get to games, and being simultaneously uninspired to pay through the nose for what passes for hockey in these parts, I was more open to suggestion than usual on the matter of taking in some hockey in person.
So, me and my friend James piled into his car for a road trip, aiming for the fair cities of Pittsburgh and Columbus.
The first point of interest after crossing the border at Buffalo was HSBC arena, home of the Buffalo Sabres. We would have liked to stop in for a game, but their home schedule didn't work to our advantage.
It's a pretty straight shot southwest from Buffalo to the Pennsylvania border. James had never been to Pennsylvania before, and I had only been to Philadelphia. We were charting new territory.
We stopped for lunch at a Boston Pizza in Erie, PA, that had us a little worried with these decidedly unappetizing fake desserts.
Admittedly this photo isn't much to look at, but I just like the sound of a place called Zelienople.