Hockey game thrills, excites viewers

Hockey game thrills, excites viewers

Harsh Singh

Photo by Luke Chval
Photo by Luke Chval

There were five minutes of overtime left in the game. Loud, “Let’s go Bruins!” chants could be heard from anywhere in the T.D. Garden in Boston, Mass. I kept looking at the game clock, willing the remaining 300 seconds to pass quickly so I could watch a shootout that would decide the winner of the match.

Surrounded by thousands of hometown fans, I felt like a movie villain who yearned for something everyone else would hate. With about a minute remaining, the Bruins’ left winger, Milan Lucic, found himself in a situation without defenders against the goalie. The home fans roared up with excitement as Lucic shot the puck into the net on his breakaway chance.

Even though I missed the chance to see a shootout by 48 seconds, my first ice hockey game turned out to be an unforgettable experience after the Boston Bruins edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in an NHL matchup.

At first, I was unsure whether to go to a hockey game. My friends had already booked tickets for an NBA game with me, but they also decided to go see a Bruins game. I had seen several hockey games on television but could never follow where the puck traveled because it was so small.

I told myself I shouldn’t miss out on watching something I would probably never get the chance to see again. My parents reinforced my decision to see the game, saying it would be  idiotic to not see such a high-intensity game.

The day we arrived in Boston, we had tickets to see the Boston Celtics play the Charlotte Bobcats. We had about six hours to find our hotel, take a nap, and eat dinner before the Celtics match. Time raced by as my two friends and I ate dinner at an elegant Italian restaurant and then took the subway over to the T.D. Garden.
The basketball game was crazy. The Celtics lost 89-83, and the home fans were disappointed but still roaring in the streets after the game. As soon as we arrived back at our hotel, my mind shifted focus to the hockey game. I woke early the day of the hockey match. It was a busy day. First, we took the subway to Harvard University. We walked around the campus and then left for Chinatown to eat authentic Chinese food.  Our legs were tired, but we still walked another five miles through Boston’s famous Freedom Trail. After dinner at UBurger, we headed to T.D. Garden for the hockey game.
The atmosphere was completely different than that of the Celtics game. The hectic craze from the basketball game paled in comparison to the pandemonium produced by the hockey crowd. Even though we got to the garden an hour before the start of the game, a huge line had already formed to enter the arena. There was a massive crowd to see the game and everyone was anxious for the start while  I was still looking around the rink absorbing the booming crowd. Finally, the lights dimmed as the lineups were introduced, and the game began.
My eyes went right then left in an attempt to not miss a single moment in the game. After half of the first period had finished, the opposing team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, scored. Everyone was shocked to see the Bruins down by one to an inferior team, but no one backed off from cheering them on. There were also many bad calls by the referees, which ignited the fans to jeer at the match officials. Just as it looked the Bruins would head into the second period down, everyone rose in joy celebrating a goal that made the score even.
The second period was just as exciting as the first one. Both teams had equal opportunities, but no one was converting them into a goal. The Bruins were again frustrated after a bad call from the referee, and a fight was brewing between the two teams. All the pressure in the seats was relieved after the Bruins struck again, 10 minutes into the period. This time, the fans were louder than the first time the Bruins scored. As soon as I thought the Bruins had this one in the bag, the Blue Jackets scored again with three minutes remaining in the period. Now, there was a pin-drop silence as the crowd was shocked to see the Bruins concede another goal.
There were 20 minutes of play left before overtime. Each team had their chances, yet they couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net. Now, there were only five minutes remaining before overtime. There was a mix of tension and excitement in the air. I was worried the Bruins would score but was also excited about the fact that I was a couple of minutes away from seeing a 5-minute overtime and possibly a shootout. The third period ended hushing the crowd. The game now had to be decided on five minutes of overtime. Everything went one step closer to what I wished for: a shootout, a pinnacle of hockey excitement jammed into a few seconds.
Everyone was up out of their seats. The fans knew the Bruins would go down in the division rankings if they lost this game, to a mediocre opponent no less. I realized this was an extremely nervous moment for me because of my desire to see a shootout. After the clock read one minute, I thought there was no chance a team would score now. I was wrong, though, as the Bruins scored their third goal to end the game at 3-2. I realized that was the most entertaining sporting game I had been to.
I also realized it was the right thing I did to tell my friend to buy a ticket for me to hockey game. From the adrenaline pumping in the crowd to the small fights between the players during the game, an ice hockey game is much more than two teams trying put puck in the back of the net. More importantly, I learned not to dismiss something before even experiencing it. I just didn’t get to see a thrilling hockey match, but I also learned a lesson in the process.
By Harsh Singh