St. Louis Blues vs. Phoenix Coyotes. Blues win in overtime.
I felt underdressed in my college sweatshirt. Most people wear clothing identical to the players - the appropriate attire for this event.
Incidentally, it is cold in a hockey rink. I clenched and shivered as I watched the skates scratch the ice. It was like watching a person bite down on a popsicle, or a teacher running her fingernails along a chalkboard.
Many times the players cluster together near a goal, mashing together into a blob of sticks and skates. The puck shoots back and forth as each team tries to put the puck where they need it to be. At times like these, it is almost not worth watching - you can’t see the puck zipping back and forth in this chaos. I listen for the siren, or the sounds of the crowd around me.
The fighting is explosive. One player shoves another and, suddenly, everybody has thrown themselves at each other. The referees scramble to regain order, one of them pushing a Coyote player to the ground. The crowd cheers.
The referee issues his futile warnings.
On the sidelines, the players wait, eager to enter the fray. Because hockey is such a tiring sport, there are many substitutions. The players swap in and out frequently, jumping the wall and swarming out onto the ice.
McClement glides down the ice before he is smashed into the wall by the Coyote defense. These are the moments where grace disappears and the best parts of hockey surface. He loses the puck and the crowd groans.