Fans appear to be hungry for hockey.
While there may be a lockout in the National Hockey League as labor negotiations continue, minor league hockey action continues in pre-season.
A crowd of about 400 packed into the small rink at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Tuesday for a free exhibition game pitting the Albany Devils against the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.
It was standing-room-only up to five or six deep around the glass and every seat was taken.
And this was not your average minor league game. With the NHL lockout in place, NHL players such as Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Zac Rinaldo, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson of the parent club Philadelphia Flyers were in the Phantoms lineup.
But Mike Sislo and David Wohlberg both scored two goals, sparking the Devils to a 5-3 victory in the preseason opener.
For the Devils, former Union College standout Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood shared goaltending responsibilities and combined for 45 saves on 48 shots.
Training camp continues in Voorhees today with another practice for the Phantoms, who will depart on Sunday and then resume training camp in Glens Falls next Tuesday in preparation for their season opener on Oct. 13 against the Portland Pirates at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Devils also open on Oct. 13, hosting Manchester at 5 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany.