Promoted from Fanposts by FrankD
Last night, I attended my first NHL game in probably over 10 years. I've been to many Milwaukee Admirals games, but I have 22,689 reasons why this game blew the AHL affiliate of the Nashville Predetors out of the water.
22,689 is the amount of people who crammed into the United Center for this game. According to ESPN, that's 110.7% full for stadium attendance. It made this game outstanding the whole way through, and echoed my love of hockey.
Let's jump to the start of my night. My dad and I leave out of Racine, to Chicago around 3:30, and get their with about 20 minutes until the United Center gates open up. My nerves of being 'standout-ish' in my baby blue Malkin jersey quickly vanished as hundreds of Crosby, Malkin, Letang, and so many other jerseys began to cluster around the gates. As I'd later find, adding to my theory of the Penguins being the NHL's version of the Green Bay Packers(if you don't have an in state team, you can root for the Packers), that these people came from all walks of life. I was standing the whole game with Pens fans. A huge section of Pens fans! I talked with a guy, who may have been Mickey Rourke, and his wife. They were from Iowa. Another group that came over to the PensBurgh section, one of which I talked with resembling Brewers' prospect Mat Gamel, came straight from Pittsburgh. Who knows who else was in that group that attended from out of Chi-Town. I was from Wisconsin, rocking the road jersey, and making friends fast.
Of the things I didn't know, or didn't read into, it was a fan giveaway night. Who doesn't want a red hard hat with a Blackhawks logo on it? I'll tell you who, about 95% of the people in the stadium. Being in the make-shift Pens section, when that goal got taken back, we were laughing our heads off at the 'two birds with one stone' of the thing. Of course, later, Toews got his hat trick anyways. I do genuinely like the Hawks as well, so it was cool to read later on that I attended Toews' first ever hat trick. Again, the fans went home just about hard hatless.
So it was enough that the section we were in kept belting out a 'Let's Go Pens' chant, it was enough to be in a laughable group of people, but to have had that great of a game was the cherry on top. Kunitz made his welcoming to the team. Staal, from my vantage point in the rafters, dominated at every moment he was on the ice. As for Fluery, the Pens simply aren't in this game without his performance, 41 saves. Then comes overtime, and after Malkin missed his first shot in OT, you could tell if they kept it in and set it up yet again, there was no way he could miss, and he didn't. I just so happened to catch the highlight clip on NHL of this game, and it may well do justice to the fact you can hear how loud the Pens' fans were in the game. I say that because our section was at the highest of highs, and you could hear us quite well on TV.
When I'm at an Admirals game, I'm on edge all game, because what is so great about hockey is that something is always happening. The crowd was just as on edge as I always am, and it's filled to the deck. It was only quiet in this game for 2 solid seconds, as the Blackhawks were on a rush and a shot was being set into motion. I was standing for just over 5 hours, but I didn't care. This game, these fans, are what make the world of sports what I love. I could go on for hours about the people I was talking with, cheering with, but I may not do proper justice to how fun it all was. Even staff security was entertaining, as that Mickey Rourke character next to me, was prohibited to not say bullsh*t. Mr. Rourke than ran back to him , as the fans all chanted bullsh*t upon Toews goal getting pulled off the board.
Could this have worked out any better for a game? For a night out with my dad? No, because even my dad, who vaguely understands hockey, was shouting and laughing his head off with the fans. What a game, what a great group of fans in the United Center, what a night.