The finals have come to Indy for the first time in several years. I'll be honest...I'm kind of burnt out on hockey by this time in the spring. It's been a long run, starting at the summer camp in June, then the team picnic in September, then kicking off the season in October.
By April I'm ready for a break.
But if I'm still standing in the box in May it's a whole different story. If I'm in the box in May it means we're playing for the Clark Cup. No, it's not Lord Stanley's Cup, and though the locker rooms are smaller, the equipment not as new, the will to win is still burning.
The Fargo Force was in town, and again if I'm being honest, I think we all took Game 1 for granted. I know I did. To use my exact words in describing it to my co-workers... "We'd beaten the snot out of Fargo three of four times we played them in the regular season." In my head, we were already lifting the Cup and starting the celebration.
And then the Fargo goaltender stood on his head and put on an absolute clinic in net. This was a Fargo team that was worlds away from the hapless expansion club we saw back in October. Not nearly the offensive weapons that we have, but the old sports cliche really is true-- 'Offense fills seats; defense wins championships.' Fargo shut the Ice down in front of their net, and crashed the hell out of our net. Eventually it paid off, and the Ice skated off 2-1 losers in the first game.
The Ice came out determined to play their game instead of Fargo's in game two of the series. Home-ice-advantage nullified, this was going to be an out-and-out war.
Gone from the locker room was any kind of joking. No laughter. No pre-game giddiness. Just adrenaline, focus, and lots of taped-up playoff injuries.
Back after a night off was Sebastian Geoffrion, and he brought his normal style of game...
After two of the most brutal, hard-hitting periods of hockey I've seen in four years in the box, the Ice's offense finally started to fire on all cylinders, and we came out with a 5-2 win. Next up, games 3 and 4 in Fargo later this week, with a game 5 if necessary back in Indy on Sunday afternoon.