With the Minnesota Wild stationed in Orange County on Tuesday morning, the Discovery Science Center in Anaheim extended a generous offer to anyone affiliated with the Wild to swing by and check out their new "Science of Hockey" exhibit. The exhibit was done in conjunction with the Anaheim Ducks, and provides kids (and adults) some interesting information while relating science to hockey.
The cast of characters that headed over to the exhibit were Wild Strength and Conditioning Coach, Chris Pietrzak-Wegner, Star Tribune Beat Writer Mike Russo, Fox Sports North sideline analyst, Kevin Gorg, Fox Sports North producer, John Stroh, Wild PR guru, Ryan Stanzel, and myself. We also had a camera man for FSN, who was filming footage for a feature that will run during FSN's pregame show tonight.
Our tour guide for the day was the lovely Leslie Perovich, and we can't thank her enough for her hospitality.
Please check out some of the photos from this wonderful exhibit in today's Photo Commentary, and tune into the video before tonight's game against the Ducks:
We enter the Science of Hockey exhibit. To the left was a giant-sized photo of Ryan Getzlaf. You can thank me later for sparing you of that.
Gorg sports the "alleged" regulation goalie pads of Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Had I not forgotten my ruler, I would have tested to see if they did meet NHL standards, and had my suspicions confirmed. There was no sign of the shoulder pads that we all know Giguere puts under his chest protector.
Leslie, our wonderful tour guide, shows the life-size Zamboni.
The Wild's opponent tonight. Sorry, I couldn't resist.
Pietrzak-Wegner and Gorg sit attentively in a replica of the Ducks dressing room. It was very similar to real life, minus the rank odor that usually accompanies NHL locker rooms.
This is one of five "Keys to the Game" in the replica locker room. I would guess that this one is either missing from their locker room, or is obstructed by something.
One of the coolest features was this shot simulator. This kid absolutely owned Giguere. I told him the Wild could use him against the Ducks because the Wild has a lot of injuries right now. He immediately ran away.
Although lifelike, something tells me that there isn't this much net to shoot at when real Wild player faces real Giguere.
Xcel Energy Center's Coordinator, Ice Operations, Travis Larson has repeatedly denied my requests and demands to drive the Zamboni around. Here, I got to sit atop the replica model as I envisioned driving the Zamboni into Travis' car in return for his cruelty towards me.
This is Woody Argyle, and educational character who was part of the "Sounds of Hockey" station. He also brought some levity including this one, "What did the ripped sock say? Darn it!"
No stranger to "face offs," Gorg took on Pietrzak-Wegner, a former goalie, in a virtual goaltending competition. Pietrzak-Wegner turned aside all five shots despite some vicious trash talking from Gorg.
This kid was my favorite. After watching Gorg taunt his opponent, this kid started yelling and cheering for the Ducks when it was Gorg's turn.
Apparently, the kid got into Gorg's head. He lost the competition, as the flashing red light indicates.
As part of the FSN filming, Gorg interviewed Pietrzak-Wegner at several of the stations. As you can see, Pietrzak-Wegner looks thrilled about me taking a photo during filming.
This wasn't part of the hockey exhibit, but Stanzel and I couldn't help but square off in this whiffle ball fast pitch simulator. The good news, is that score of 49 was my last pitch, which allowed me to win the contest. The bad news...
...is that my violent pitching motion caused my suit pants to rip up the back thigh. Everyone in attendance thought this funny, and for some reason, thought it was even funnier that I'm down to one suit for the rest of this road trip. As Woody Argyle would say, "Darn it!"