The last year and a half have been tough on everyone. No matter who you are or where you live, lifestyle changes have become the norm for everybody. One of those changes involved how we watch hockey. For many, watching the Golden Knights in person became a part of their weekly routine and it was suddenly taken away despite the games continuing to go on. Finally, towards the end of last season and into the playoffs fans were allowed back in the building and for many, it was incredibly meaningful to return.
One such fan is today’s Guest Post author, Lara Lee. A diehard Golden Knights fan who never misses a game and can constantly be seen banging on the glass at T-Mobile Arena (actually she’s a great hockey fan so she’s aware *not* to bang on the glass, but you get my point), Lara was in the building for the first time in over a year for Game 3 against the Avalanche. She recounts that night, one that meant so much more to so many people who finally felt like they were getting back to normal… which of course meant the Golden Knights winning at T-Mobile Arena.
Catharsis. That’s the word I keep coming back to. Being in T-Mobile Arena for Game 3 of the Vegas Golden Knights’ series against the Colorado Avalanche felt like catharsis for me and, I suspect, many in the building. The experience of being together and helping will our team to a desperately needed comeback win was a cleansing moment. It washed away the ache of missing an entire year of seeing hockey in person, washed away the frustration of being handcuffed by dubious officiating, washed away the agony of seeing the Golden Knights outplay teams without being rewarded. Finally, we were all in one place again, and we made it count.
The crowd was electric from the start. The “KNIGHT” yell during the national anthem was the loudest that I’ve ever heard. I got goosebumps, so I can only imagine its effect on the team. The Golden Knights came out flying, and I hoped that they would score quickly so that the crowd could exhale the breath it was holding. Instead, the tension built and built until William Karlsson finally put the puck in the net in the 2nd period. But the Avalanche tied the game before we could thoroughly enjoy our lead, and the stress returned.
You could feel the nerves running through the arena when the 3rd period began. We knew our guys were the better team on this night, but we’d seen this movie too many times to trust that would lead to victory. When Colorado scored a goal to take the lead, the air went out of the building.