"Bucket Man" was back in business at Landon Arena Friday night.
The passionate fan who's been through two rounds of Scarecrows and a season with the Tarantulas was among more than 1500 people to see the Topeka Road Runners open their season at Landon Arena.
Bucket Man didn't miss a beat, harassing the opposing players and, of course, banging his bucket loudly. When the Road Runners scored their first-ever official goal at home, he jumped on a chair, bucket in hand, while fellow fan "Wild Bill" rang his oversized cow bell over the glass over the players' benches.
"This is what it's all about," Wild Bill said as fans cheered. "As long as it's back, it will be like this."
11-year old Brenden Garland was among the younger fans on hand. He plays hockey in Kansas City and says his favorite part is seeing the players check each other.
Enthusiasm among fans is welcome news for those backing an effort to build a permanent ice rink in Topeka. Topeka Ice President Mike Eichten says he's already seen the Road Runners boost fundraising efforts. He says people are excited about hockey again.
Fans say with an owner committed to the Capital City, they hope other fans will skate in to check out the team and keep them scoring for a long time to come.
The Roadrunners won, 5-1.
For highlights of the Road Runners home opener, go to the Sports page.