Noah Adams laced up his skates and walked down the runway. He sprinted to a glide on the Mellon Arena ice surface and took a few strides around the rink. He skated to the Penguins’ bench and took a seat. Adams isn’t a professional hockey player. He’s an 11-year-old boy that skated on the same surface as his favorite hockey player, Sidney Crosby
“I’ve been waiting for this for a month,” Adams said. “It was fun to know that I sat on the same bench that all the Penguins sat on.”
Noah, his mother, Chelle Adams, and brother, A.J., traveled with a group of 12 people from Morgantown, West Virginia, to attend the Penguins Watch Party. Approximately 2,300 fans attended Mellon Arena to watch the Penguins’ 4-3 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm, Sweden, on the Jumbotron, skate on the ice and tour the Penguins locker room.
“I like the locker room the most,” said Noah, who plays center and defense for the Morgantown Blades. “I play hockey so I can skate all the time but I don’t get to see the Penguins’ locker room everyday. My mom took a picture of everything, including gum.”
Chelle Adams, 42, admitted to snapping photos of a box of gum, laces, tape, posters and just about everything that was in the locker room. But her most memorable photos involve her two sons.
“I was taking pictures of the boys in their favorite players’ lockers,” said Chelle with “HOCKEY MOM” earrings dangling from her ears. “They were mesmerized by the experience and that no one steps on the (Penguins) seal.”
“It’s pretty enjoyable, I was really appreciating the time I was out there (on the ice),” said Oakdale native Mark Norwood. “I was thinking back to the time when (Evgeni) Malkin had the shorthanded shot on the Flyers. I looked up into the stands where I was sitting when I watched him score the goal. The Penguins are great, letting us skate on the same ice as the big boys.”
Norwood, 47, watched the game from the Mellon Arena seats but skated with his son-in-law, Matt Bauer, before the game and between periods.
“It’s really cool that they open up the arena and let you see everything,” Bauer, 27, said. “To skate on the ice, I wasn’t expecting that. It was really cool.”
Pete Giacalone, 31, and his daughter Milayna, 7, bought brand new ice skates just for the day.
“She’s gotten into ice skating over the last couple of years,” he said. “It’s something that is so exciting. I think this is awesome. Every person that I told about this since it’s been made public thinks it’s the greatest thing. Friends from out of state can’t believe it.”
“I just like skating but I forgot how to (at first),” Milayna said. Luckily, Milayna quickly remembered and was able to enjoy her skate around the arena. “It feels kind of weird. The Penguins skate on there.”
That fact didn’t escape her father, who comes from an earlier generation of Penguins fans.
“Skating on the same ice as not only Sidney Crosby
but, for me, Paul Coffey and Mario Lemieux, I got goose bumps,” he said. “Then looking at the Stanley Cup banners on the side, it’s a cool feeling.”