Gov. Palin tweeted today:
"AK Aces vs SC Stingrays tonight. 1st Family & I will be on hand for win - anticipate winning friendly bet w/SC Gov.Sanford, too. Go, Aces!"About that friendly wager, the Aces website explains:
On the eve of the series, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford have made a friendly wager on the best-of-seven series: Alaskan King Salmon vs. Shrimp and Grits and She Crab Soup, with the winner not only seeing their team hoist the Kelly Cup, but also getting a taste of the local cuisine from the losing club.The fact that both governors are frequently mentioned as possible contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination has not been lost on the media, which is giving this minor league championship series unprecedented attention:
"I've always responded to a challenge, just like the Aces, and I also enjoy trying new food, which is why this bet is a no-brainer," said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "I have extreme confidence that our supremely talented team will represent our great state well enough to bring home our second championship in four years. I’ll make no predictions, other than I expect I’ll be trying the she-crab soup and shrimp and grits real soon."
The Stingrays and Aces have only met four times in team history; twice in the 2004 regular season, when Alaska managed one point of a possible four in games that were played in North Charleston, and twice during this past pre-season, when the Aces beat South Carolina 3-2 in overtime October 8 before dropping a 5-1 decision the following night. Going into tomorrow, Alaska has won 12 straight and 23 of its last 25 games at home, with its six playoff victories in Anchorage coming by a combined score of 21-3.
"We're awfully proud of how well the Stingrays have done this year, and we're excited not only for the opportunity to show off a first-class sports franchise, but for the opportunity to show off the Charleston area as well," Gov. Sanford said. "But personally, I'm most excited about the king salmon that Sarah is going to be sending my way when the Kelly Cup is decided!"
"Alaska's Sarah Palin and South Carolina's Mark Sanford are already squaring off - and the presidential election is still three years away."The Aces are affiliated with the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League, and the Stingrays have been the ECHL affiliate of the NHL's Washington Capitals since 2004.
Update 1: The Rays won Game One 4-2 in front of a record crowd for an Aces game at Sullivan Arena. Gov. Sarah Palin dropped the ceremonial first puck to a loud, partially standing, ovation.
Update 2: The Aces evened the series with a 3 to 1 victory last night in Anchorage.