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CARAVAN VISITS OCEANSIDE ICE RINK

Tuesday, 09.16.2008 / 1:20 AM / Community
By Don Schwartz
Coyotes' Caravan canvassed the Valley Monday with a mix of corporate appearances, a radio show and a stop at one of the more storied ice rinks in town.

It was anything but business as usual as goaltender Mikael Tellqvist and Howler brightened the day of office workers at Desert Schools Federal Credit Union in Phoenix. The fur-flying fun continued as the pair took flight for U.S. Airways’ corporate offices in Tempe to sign autographs for employees.

Meanwhile, forward Peter Mueller made a stop at Mix 96.9 where he appeared on-air with Chris Parker and former Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken. An impromptu arm wresting match took place as Mueller and Van Dyken put their athletic abilities to the test – though good sportsmanship and frivolity were the real competitors.

The Caravan’s capstone event came when forward Enver Lisin, defenseman Derek Morris and goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov signed autographs for fans at Oceanside Ice Arena in Tempe – many of whom play in the youth leagues that call the venerable Valley rink home.

Among these fans was Micah Lieb, who made the trip out from Gilbert with his father David. Knowing what meeting his goaltending idol would mean to this young netminder made the decision to join the Caravan an easy one.

“My son was here for the stick-handling session, but typically, it isn’t real intensive on goalie skills,” Lieb said. “He normally wouldn’t have come out, but when he saw who was going to be here tonight, he was like ‘Okay, I want to go tonight!’ He’s in love with Ilya Bryzgalov, so that really drew him out and made him want to come here and skate as long as he has to – as long as he gets to meet Ilya before he goes out on the ice.”

Also paying the Coyotes’ trio a visit were many members of the Phoenix Coyotes Booster Club. These die-hard hockey fans continue to show their support for the team by joining the Caravan on its many public stops throughout the week.

“The Coyotes players are very approachable; more so than any other sports team,” said Booster Club member Lori Kohlhase of Phoenix. “I’ll even go out to see the same guy three times. These events are awesome. I love not only coming out for the player interaction and getting something signed, but also to meet with other fans.”

Coyotes' Caravan continues its tour on Tuesday with a stop at a familiar stomping ground for the players – Jobing.com Arena. Come join the Caravan as Peter Mueller and Keith Yandle sign autographs from 5 – 6 p.m. on the main concourse and make sure to stick around for the free rookie game between the Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings, with face-off at 6 p.m.

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