For my birthday, my cousins Christine and JC got me tickets for a UConn Hockey game in Hartford at the XL Center. I was really excited because I had wanted to go to one of those games at the XL Center all season because it looked like a lot of fun; I was even more excited because they were coming with me to the game. The game I got tickets for was on November 21, 2014 against the Vermont Catamounts. My dad and sister dropped me off at their home and I hung out with JC until my cousin Christine came from work, and we got to play a NHL hockey video game on their play-station. We played two games and he won both and we had a great time. It was fun getting to hang out with him. When Christine came from work, we packed up the car and left. Unfortunately, we ran into really heavy traffic right by the exit ramp so we got to the game about seven minutes after it had started. Luckily we didn’t miss much action as both teams had had only a couple shots on net each and no goals. We were surprised by the smaller crowd since it was supposed to be a close-to-sellout crowd, as the side we sat on was full, but other areas were pretty empty. What great seats! They were on the left-hand side of the Vermont goalie, only a few rows from the glass, and right in front of the UConn Pep Band. That was so cool.
The game itself was probably one of the most exciting I have ever seen. The best part was when UConn scored their first goal not even two minutes after we got to the game. Right when we were getting to our seats Husky Jeff Wright came in to the net and had a nice shot saved at the post. Brent Norris picked up the rebound and passed the puck to Johnny Austin at the blue-line who shot the puck past Vermont goalie Mike Santaguida to the give UConn a 1-0 lead. It was awesome because we had no sooner sat down when we saw the puck hit the back of net. The crowd went wild and I got to ring my cow-bell! UConn dominated the rest of the period and kept the one-goal lead going into the second period.
During the first intermission it was weird because a lot of people came, making it almost a sellout crowd as predicted. We found out later all the traffic delayed a lot people. Then Vermont started out-playing UConn in the second. They started getting close to scoring; their closest chance was went a Catamount player skated into the UConn zone and fired a shot just over the cross-bar, but Rob Nichols kept Vermont off the board. However, Vermont finally found the back of the net. Kyle Huson tried to clear the puck but a Vermont player stopped the puck at the blue-line and passed it to a teammate who shot the puck through the pads of Rob Nichols to tie the game at 1-1. The Huskies continued to play sloppy until the half-way mark on the second, when they scored again. Kasperi Ojantakanen found the puck on the wall, and back-handed a pass up to Jacob Poe at the blue-line. Poe blasted a slap-shot on goal, which was saved but the rebound came right to Spencer Naas who tapped it home to give UConn the lead back and make it 2-1. JC and I stood up when we saw the puck fall behind the goalie and then let out a cheer and high-fived each other when we saw the red-light go on. The goal really got UConn fired up. Right off the faceoff UConn passed the puck up to Joey Ferris who came in on a breakaway but saw his backhand shot saved by Santaguida. The Huskies kept getting great chances but couldn’t capitalize again. Another great chance was when Brent Norris walked in and shot the puck just over the net. Despite some more scoring chances, the period ended with UConn leading 2-1 which left us all happy.
In the beginning of the period when UConn came out JC wrung the cow bell. The third period was really exciting. UConn again had some great chances. Their two best was when Patrick Kirtland came in on a breakaway but he shot the puck right into the chest of Santaguida. The other great chance UConn had was Cody Sharib skated in all the way to the net and darted to the other side but Santaguida slid across and made the save. The only scary part of the period was when Rob Nichols came out of his goal to get the puck and accidentally passed it to a Vermont player who had the puck on the goal-line, but a UConn defenseman stepped in and took the puck away. It was really close. With just under a minute to go Vermont pulled the goalie and the crowd at the XL Center gave UConn a standing ovation for the last minute and UConn cleared the puck with 3 seconds left to seal the 2-1 win over #11 Vermont. The crowd went crazy, especially the student section and the UConn Pep Band played the UConn Husky Fight Song. It was great. The game was one the most exciting I’ve ever been to.
After the game my cousins and I went to dinner at this neat barbecue restaurant. Literally, everything on the menu was meat. These were your choices: meat by itself or meat on a sandwich. I got the sausage sandwich that was really good. I had a great time going to the UConn Hockey game and spending time with my cousins!