By Andy Kent
Naples Daily News
TRENTON, N.J. — Talk about a Kodak moment.
Florida Everblades rookie forwards David Lundbohm (pictured) and Steve Saviano have had more than their fair share of memorable photo opportunities in the 2005 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs.
But a national audience got to take in one Wednesday that had nothing to do with hockey.
On the cover of Wednesday’s USA Today sports section was a blown-up shot of Lundbohm and Saviano trying to dodge the barrel of a broken bat along with other fans at Hammond Stadium during a spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and Florida Marlins.
The picture ran with a story about the rising number of broken bat incidents in baseball the same day the Everblades flew from Southwest Florida to Philadelphia on the first leg of their trip to Trenton, N.J. The best-of-seven Kelly Cup Finals series with the Trenton Titans resumes Friday with Game 3 at the Sovereign Bank Arena and Trenton up 2-0.
“I don’t know how the guy got that picture because he’s shooting up,” an embarrassed Lundbohm said after the team’s flight landed in Philadelphia. “Was he not watching the game or something? I can’t believe they got that.”
Florida defenseman Simon Tremblay’s girlfriend was forwarded the image by e-mail but without the USA Today identification, and she called Tremblay at Southwest Florida International Airport before he boarded the plane to tell him about it. Still, none of the players knew what newspaper was running it until later on during the flight, and when they saw it they all erupted in laughter at the same time.
Defenseman and team captain Matt Pagnutti was reading the sports section and that particular article when he took a second look at the photo. He happened to be at that same game but in a different area of the ballpark and remembered getting a call on his cell phone from Lundbohm telling him how close the broken bat came to him and Saviano.
“I was reading the story because it seemed like an interesting article on baseball,” Pagnutti said. “I happened to look at the picture and it took me a double-take to realize who it was and then I read the little caption on the bottom saying, ‘spring training, Fort Myers,’ and there he was, my roommate.”
After the plane pulled into the gate and everyone disembarked into the terminal, Saviano hit the first newsstand he saw and bought a couple of copies. He also called his parents back in Boston to tell them about it and they went out and bought a few more copies.
Lundbohm was reluctant to call anybody he knew from his hometown of Roseau, Minn., which is just outside of Minneapolis, because he isn’t too proud of his pose in the photo. But Saviano convinced him to pick up the phone.
“Figure the odds of that photo being taken with us there and then running in a national paper now,” Saviano said. “All of (Lundbohm’s) friends back home are giving him a hard time. He’s just been calling people and telling them to go buy a paper without telling them exactly why.”