Wow. Just saw a great hockey game!February 21, 2009 at 12:46 am | Posted in Hockey, Minda's Take | Leave a comment
When I went online to purchase my ticket to see the University of Nebraska-Omaha play Notre Dame, I just clicked “best available” when prompted to choose a section. I didn’t even pay attention to the section number until I got to the arena and a kindly usher told me that I was in the front section…and the front row….right behind the Omaha bench.
Man, I wish I had taken a camera! Here is a fuzzy version of what faceoff looked like, courtesy of my phone’s poopy camera.
One thing I quickly noticed about Notre Dame, who is #2 in the country, is that they’re really, really good. Their players seemed bigger, more smooth, more crisp, and much faster than Omaha. I Twitter’d that I was a bit afraid. (OK, the Tweet actually said I was “sacred,” but that’s a typo.)
And Notre Dame scored. Hooo boy, here it goes, I thought. But then something pretty amazing happened – ND didn’t score any more that period! Pretty impressive, but I wanted a goal. The 2nd period started, and….Omaha scored! It was hard to properly celebrate, though, because the red “goal” light was apparently broken so I wasn’t completely sure it was even a goal until the Omaha players all skated over to the bench for high fives. Ahh, hooray! Go Mavs!
Tonight’s game was not at Omaha’s beautiful Qwest Center, as most games are. Instead, it was in the much smaller Civic Auditorium. The Civic is nice, but it doesn’t have the fancy video boards and ribbon scoreboards like the Qwest. It was a little weird being at a high-level sporting event without video replay, but it was OK. The lack of a video board also meant there were no colorful graphics prompting the crowd to “MAKE SOME NOOOOOOOOIZE OMG!”
But you know what? Fans don’t need that stuff. If the game is good, we’ll get loud on our own, thankyouverymuch. And this game was GOOD, so we got LOUD. After 2 periods, Omaha was down 3-2 and I was relieved it was even within 3 or 4 goals. And then, holy crap, Omaha scored again – tie game! Unbelievable. I mean, really unbelievable.
Omaha goalie Jeremie Dupont did an admirable job of holding off the Irish for the rest of the game, and we went into overtime. Then…well, I guess it was just too much for Dupont and the rest of the Mavs to hold off, and Notre Dame scored and therefore won. It was pretty heartbreaking, especially being that close to the bench and seeing the exhausted players come up short.
But wow, what a spectacularly beautiful game. I feel lucky to have been a part of it, even if the ending didn’t fit the rest of the fairy tale.