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My first hockey experience

POSTED December 1, 2009 10:02 p.m.
There were plenty of justifiable reasons why we should have left the HP Pavilion in our rearview mirror and go on about our night.
Three friends and I were at the San Jose Sharks game the day before Thanksgiving of last week, and we were all heart-broken and embarrassed early on. We witnessed the opponents, the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring an improbable three shorthanded goals, the most San Jose has ever allowed.
It got so bad that every time the Sharks were in a power play, we would shamefully hide our heads in our scarfs or hoodies. And it didn’t help that we sat in front of Blackhawk fans.
In other words, my first-ever professional hockey game was quite memorable, though they weren’t all happy memories.
The three friends and I arrived at the HP Pavilion with plenty of excitement and expectations. We wanted to see a good game. We wanted an experience like no other. We just wanted a good time.
But after the first quarter, we quickly realized this wasn’t a good game to attend despite having in front of us two of the best teams in the NHL. We got excited after the Sharks were given their first power play situation. But after two power plays, we figured this was a trick, that this was when the Blackhawks decided to score. And they had to do it in front of 17,562 fans, with at least four of them wishing that the night would end in a magical come-from-behind win.
But these are the Blackhawks, and they’re quite ruthless.
They scored.
They scored again and again.
They finished with seven goals.
The main culprit was Marian Hossa, who returned to hockey after recovering from shoulder surgery and making his first argument that he deserves his 12-year, $62-million contract with Chicago.
“OK, Sharks,” my friends thought. “Let’s get at least one goal.”
By now, a good chunk of the fans had left the building, going on about their night. We were determined to not leave without seeing one of the Sharks score. We had endured an entire night of Blackhawk fans granting each other high-five’s behind our heads. We wanted to do the same. We didn’t care if they were garbage-time goals.
“Give us something to remember,” we mumbled to each other.
And, oh yes! It finally happened. Dan Boyle was the first savior, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play. My friends and I celebrated. It was our turn to grant each other high-five’s, and one of us turned to the Blackhawk fans and announced: “In your face! In your face!” By this point, we had befriended the folks who sat behind us. They didn’t retaliate. It was like a bully finally realizing that the wimpy kid deserves a moment in the spotlight.
We were pleased.
We were satisfied.
We wanted another goal. And Joe Pavelski granted us that moment with about two minutes left in this thrashing. And once again, we celebrated.
We were happy.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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