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Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun With the Ryan House -- and the Coyotes!

We stayed at the Ryan House over the weekend and had a great time, as usual!  Kyle played the Wii most of the time, with a therapy swim and some drum practice in the music room sprinkled in.  Lauren and Jenna spent virtually the entire weekend in the craft room or playing with Snickers the therapy dog. 

We packed so much fun into forty eight hours that I anticipated us skipping school today just to recover, and then I got a neat phone call from the Ryan House.  They extended an invitation for us to practice with Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Jason LaBarbera this morning.  We went and met Jason and his wife, and the kids careened through the rink with him for a while until the rest of the players arrived for their scheduled practice.

Lauren with Raffi Torres and Jason:

We enjoyed watching the practice.  The NHL is in a lockout situation this year, so various players seem to have coordinated their own group practice sessions to keep their game sharp.  Our usual favorite Coyotes players were there along with a handful of players who play on other NHL teams.  I imagine Scottsdale in the winter isn’t a bad place to wait around for the NHL season to start!

After practice, Coyotes team captain Shane Doan chatted with Kyle.  As usual, Kyle was unimpressed with just talking to a player—he asked to shoot pucks with them on the ice.  Jason and Shane opened the doors to the ice and spent 20 minutes setting up the puck and letting the kids shoot it into the net, while staff and a Zamboni waited around for them to be done.  We got some pretty great pictures!

And a couple of cool photos that a bystander thought to take of us:

Many thanks to the LaBarberas, and to Shane Doan and the patient staff at the Ice Den for a really *cool* morning full of some neat opportunities!