Thursday, October 31, 2013

Shootout Shenanigans!

Hockey has never really interested me. I didn't understand the rules. The smashing of each other into the boards seemed a bit barbaric.The puck was so small and moved so fast that even the camera man had trouble following it sometimes. Also, being from Iowa, hockey isn't really a big deal. With no pro teams to root for or college teams that play it, hockey was always that obselete sporting event that no one really cared about. Let's just say that all of those sentiments of mine have changed over the course of the last year or so...

My roommate last year, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Erin, were both huge hockey fans. Being from Chicago, they worshiped the Chicago Blackhawks and followed their every move (even following them on Instagram and Twitter - obsessive, I know). So when the season was almost cancelled last year to do the lockout, I thought they were both going to lose it. I did my best to try and figure out who the players were, but really had no real interest/investment in the sport. However, once the playoffs began, my tune changed.

The Stanley Cup is one of the most electrifying championship series in sports today. Anything can happen. Lower seeded teams constantly upset the favorites. Games are won and lost by mere centimeters. The hits are harder and the fans are rowdier. A small group of us (Erin, Kevin, Phetsada, Cathy, Brad, and myself) started watching the games together. Hockey became our life blood. Every other night we were either at Bru's Room or Brad's house, taking in the games and watching the Blackhawks slowly make their way towards hoisting the Stanley Cup.

The final series was filled with nothing short of thrilling games. The first game went into 3 OTs, blood was spilled on the ice, and tempers flared. In the end, the Blackhawks took home the cup in dramatic fashion, scoring two goals 17 seconds apart from each other. Pandamonium rained down upon the 6 of us as the ultimate goal was finally achieved. My love for hockey had been officially solidified and I couldn't wait until the next season began!

With the beginning of October came the start of hockey season. The first thing that we did once the schedule was announced was see when the Blackhawks would be making a trip down to Miami to play the Florida Panthers. The fateful day ended up being Tuesday, October 22nd. Brad was able to score Phetsada, Cathy, and I awesome seats in the ADT suite (the same place that I watched my first hockey game earlier this year with the $1,000 seats). We weren't a complete 6, but Erin and Kevin were with us in spirit (and through SnapChat/Instagram/Facebook/Text Messaging). Gotta love that technology!

The game itself was a super exciting one. The Blackhawks were up 2-0 going into the third period, then allowed the Panthers to tie it up with two goals of their own. With the score knotted at 2 a piece, the game headed to overtime. No goals were scored, so this led to the always exciting shootout! The Blackhawks ended up winning the shootout 2-1, a result that sent the pro-Blackhawks crowd into a frenzy. It also sent the mom's of the players (who were sitting a couple of boxes over from us) home with high spirits and smiles on their faces.

It was great to finally see the Blackhawks play in person. The end result definitely was what we wanted and the game didn't disappoint. I'm super excited to see where the season goes and how far the Blackhawks can make it this year. So far, things are off to a good start and hopefully the boys will keep it up!

Next goal: watch the Blackhawks in Chicago in the United Center with Kevin and Erin. Bring it on!

The Super Six at graduation last year (Kevin, Phetsada, myself, Cathy, Erin, and Brad)

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