Apart from being ridiculously handsome and incredibly humble, I’d say I’m just like any other hockey fan. I never played in any organized league -- just games of pond hockey after school when I was supposed to be running in winter track, plus whatever skating I could do on the garden rink my dad built for me and my sister every year.
I first became a fan back when we finally got a flatscreen TV and I was able to actually see the puck being passed on the ice. The pace of the game was like no other. Like basketball, but with 10,000% more intensity and way fewer breaks. In middle school, when the Boston Bruins made their Stanley Cup run, watching them win the game on some random kid’s iPhone while on a boat with 150 other 8th graders during a trip to Washington DC, was legendary. It forever cemented my love for the sport.
After moving across the country without ever making it to a game at the Garden, when I heard the B’s were coming to town to play the Seattle Kraken, I knew I had to go. And let me tell you, as far as first ever in person NHL games go, it was fucking amazing.
To start things off, a buddy from back home was visiting for the week, and this was the perfect way to cap off the trip. The Kraken play at the brand new Climate Pledge Arena, and boy howdy is that place nice as fuck. Granted, we were just a little hammered by the time we got there, but that didn’t mean the video art on the walls as we walked in was any less dope. The bar scene around the arena is spectacular, from the Queen Anne Beer Hall to TS McHugh’s, all while the Space Needle watches over you, like some sort of guardian for the drunks.
On top of that, it was Marchand’s first game back from suspension, and I was definitely not the only one rocking number 63 when we were walking to the stadium. Even in the local bars it seemed like it was 50/50 Kraken and Bruins fans. It feels good to know we travel well.
Anyways, the Bruins went down 1-0 early in the first period. Hopes slipped slightly when we failed to score on the double minor that followed shortly, but they were quickly reinstated by my buddy coming back with our beers. We proceeded to be the loud and overly enthusiastic Boston fans we knew we needed to be to support the Spokes. When regulation ended in a tie, we both knew there was nowhere for us to go other than two rows closer to cheer on the Bs and chirp the shit out of the Kraken fans. “Nice fucking skating 22. Y’all do cross fit? You can cross fuck-off!”
That turned out to be the right move, as Jake DeBrusk put the game-winner in the back of the net just 33 seconds into OT. We went wild. Beer was spilt, arms were thrown in the air, and my voice was hoarse for the entire next day at work. A truly incredible experience. We sang Tessie on the way back out of the stadium. Well, the parts we knew anyway. 11/10 would recommend going to see hockey played in person. I’ll never forget that feeling of the OT winner and looking at the dudes next to us, also rocking Bruins gear, pointing at each other and screaming in victory. It’s exhilarating, and can turn any run-of-the-mill hockey fan into a raging puckhead.
Moral of the story? Go watch some fucking hockey. It should replace baseball as America’s pastime. You heard it here first.
Ever been to an NHL game? Got any good stories worth sharing? Leave a comment and tell us about it!
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