Starting Lineup: Left Wing Alex Dominique (#21), Right Wing Spencer Rudrud (#7), Center Griffen Sanom (#17), Defense Keegan Langefels (#4), Defense Mitchell Becker (#2), Goalie Henrik Laursen (#1)
I didn’t get a picture of it, but Santa did a puck drop last night, which was somehow one of the more heartwarming things I’ve ever seen. Cute and totally warranted given it’s our last game before Christmas and the last home game of 2019.
Once again, we came out hot. Rockets on our skates? Check! Fire trails behind us? Check! Goal in the first two minutes? Check! The first one we slipped in past Max Gutjahr (#35) came to us with 18:23 left in the game, Zach Frisk (#26) accomplishing this particular task. The glee from the audience was amazing and set the tone for most of the night.
I had my nephew with me last night (giving him his first hockey game ever) and I spent a good amount of time trying to remember to explain stoppages and penalties so he wasn’t in the dark about it. Of course I also spent like 3 hours before the game yammering at him about how great our team is and just how wonderful the guys I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with have been. So I’m pretty sure he was biased going in, given his aunt’s word is golden (man, I’m so lucky he loves me that much!). All the same, he leaned over before the end of the first period and told me he had a new sport he cares about and man, the glee in my heart in that moment. That’s my boy! Love you some hockey the way I do.
Amarillo made a comeback with only 3:26 left on the clock, Devan Tongue (#13) shuffling the puck in past Laursen (#1).
One thing I noticed that amused me both nights with the Bulls in our house was that they have a tendency to slam themselves against the boards in the hallway, making it truly sound like a bullpen. It’s actually pretty funny and I get it, got to get riled up before going out and all that jazz. Our guys are a bit more sedate waiting to go out, so it’s an odd contrast when things like that happen. Some teams stand quietly, some get pumped up various ways. I experienced both last night with my seating being next to the away team and me going over to our side to stand with the kiddos that always usher our guys out on the ice.
I’ve mentioned it before when something happened to an away team player that I feel strange even writing it out, but that I work things out with words and let me tell you, words are something I have to get out after last night. Let me start by saying the player in question is okay. I won’t put names, I won’t do that to anyone reading, but there was a moment with one of our guys that seriously stole my breath away. In the ‘oh shit’ kind of way. Seeing someone take a fall like that, head over skates, struggle to get up… and when you know the guy, it’s even worse. Seriously had to take a minute after that and I’ve never been so glad to see someone get up off that ice as I was in that moment when he got up under his own power. My hands are a little shaky even now. Close call… but things are okay. He’s okay and that’s what matters. So if I kept going back to our side to help pump them up while going out on the ice, well, a little of it was also to reassure myself he was actually okay. Deep breath.
Moving on… in the second period they scored again on us, (#12) making the goal on 16:13 on the clock and again with only 32 second left in the period, this time (#19) doing the honors on us. Still, the crowd was pumped. One lady with a cowbell kept ringing it anytime anyone did something good and my husband looked so confused each and every time. I finally told him maybe she just likes hockey in general and is excited either team is doing something good. Sort of the same way I can’t help but clap for good goalie saves or murmur things like ‘that was a good steal’ even when it’s the opposing team. Gotta respect good hockey no matter which team it’s coming from. She just chose to use a cowbell to announce her pleasure with it. Go her!
Mr. Heckler was back again… and lord, someone make it stop. He just chooses someone and screams at them and gets all the people around him to do it, too. It’s funny like one time and then it’s annoying. Chillax, my dude. (He picked on the goalie last night for… reasons? Gutjahr is actually really good and yeah, here I am defending the opposing team again lmao, go figure!)
In the third period we wracked up another goal with 16:06 on the clock, Logan Martinson (#22) sliding it in with an assist from Brandon Holt (#5). The sold out crowd loved it. If the Bulls fans were quiet, I wouldn’t have known it, because honestly my section was just as loud as I’m pretty sure it was jam packed with Bulls fans last night. I think that qualifies as ways to know it’s a good one!
This year has been a good one for so many reasons and a lot of those reasons equal hockey in our lovely city. I wish I could ever properly express what it means to me that they’re here, playing their hearts out, and are comprised of such a wonderful selection of human beings. I hope they know even in some small way how happy they make me. Not just the team: the staff, the owners, the coaches, everyone. Keep shining bright in the new year, everyone. You’re a brilliant star in my life and I hope I’m one in yours.