On Saturday night at 7 p.m. I had the privilege of attending the Union vs. Princeton hockey game with a group of my friends. This game was by far one of my favorites to watch. It was fast paced, triumphant, and incredibly passionate. Since last year, hockey has become a large part of my life, a part that excites me and thrills me as a spectator. It is something about the drive and the sheer talent the players have that makes it my favorite sport.
Arriving at the rink early at 6:45 pm (my fear that all the seats would be taken thoroughly freaking me out), my friends and I began the trek up into the stands to find enough room for the six of us. The student section was yet to be filled to capacity, but looking out across the rink it was clear we had made a wise choice in coming to the rink early. The stands were full of families, locals, and students all vying for seats so they wouldn’t have to stand. Within 15 minutes the stadium was pretty much packed. The show was about to begin and I found myself on the edge of my seat, full of butterflies of excitement.
At 7 pm the lights went out and all around me was an expectant air. Then the music grew louder and the team was announced, giving way to cheers and applause. Union’s players poured out onto the ice in their dark uniforms while Princeton’s team came next, dressed in frightening Halloween orange. It was seriously like watching an ice dancing show as the spotlights jumped around the ice, highlighting players here and there. It was an intense opening followed by the starting lineup emerging from the darkness as they were announced. My heart was in my throat as the lights rose and the players took their respective places. Game time.
The experience of watching this last home game was thrilling. It was almost like I could feel the adrenaline coursing through the players as they jumped onto the ice and headed into the thick of battle. It might sound foolish, but I could hardly contain myself from bursting from my seat and running onto the ice to join in the fight. Throughout the entire game I wished I was one of the players. The need to succeed was so intense that after every goal Union scored I jumped to my feet in applause. My friends must have thought I was a lunatic as I refused to have my focus broken. I watched as Union scored 5 goals, one by Luke Cain, Stéphane Boileau, John Simpson, and two goals by Daniel Carr, throughout the three periods. Princeton just couldn’t keep up. The night ended with a 5-0 victory, very happy players, and an equally happy audience. What made the game so great was that it was the last home game of the season. The team was so passionate and full of pride as they played and the audience only added to this atmosphere. At the end of the game, the team was presented with the Cleary Cup. This was a beautiful moment in Union College’s history and for all the members of Union’s Ice Hockey team. This was the first time Union College received the Cleary Cup since the ice hockey team entered Division One. It was truly a special moment for all involved in achieving this goal. After the presentation of the cup, Senior Night then commenced. Eight seniors were honored including Brock Matheson, Andrew Buote, John Simpson, Stéphane Boileau, Adam Presizniuk, and Corey Milan. The ceremony included the families of the eight senior members of the team which was quite touching. The ceremony brought back memories of my senior night for Field Hockey and how moving it was to be honored for one’s commitment and dedication to a well loved team.
Not only was the game the perfect combination of skill and violence, but the ceremony afterwards brought back so many positive memories that I left the rink on some sort of high, as I am sure the team did as well. Congratulations to the team, the coaches, and the honored seniors!
|Number one in the ECAC
P.S. I am terribly sorry for the poor quality of the video. I am no Steven Spielberg…