It's Hockey Night Tonight

Winter's sun crawls towards horizon. Headlights illuminate road. As we ride, our talk is a cacophony of voices that converge; conversations to one another. Our destination lays before us. Off the freeway and onto city streets. Blinker indicates intended direction. Pull in and stop with window down. Pay for parking; find a spot and unload. We walk towards stacked line as others wait for entrance. The temperature hovers around 25°F as light snow delicately dances downward.

Arena doors open. Attendees in stacked line step forward; patiently wait. Inside and to our seats. Music blares as players warm on the ice. Skates slice and scratch; sticks slide and place puck. Players leave to respective locker rooms; double Zambonis smooth and polish.

Announcer welcomes. Military Appreciation night. Five gentlemen lined: center ice; active duty and retired personnel stand at attention dressed to the nines in Blues. Each introduced and specifics given from deployments, tours, and service. Applause. Above arena, Army Special Forces—four—descended. Five pucks ceremonially drop to begin the evening. Color Guard enters and crowd stands. Lights lower. Hats removed. Hands over hearts. America's anthem — "The Star-Spangled Banner" — sung proudly after "Oh, Canada" finishes.

First period begins. Face off. Chiefs v Royals. Puck drops. Game progresses as first goal is made. Second goal. Then a third. Players push and shove; a scuffle begins and quickly ends. Buzzer blares as period ends. Double Zambonis come out to reset surface. Second period. Tie game. Power play. Another buzzer. Another period. Double Zambonis again. Third period. Stompin' Tom Connors' "The Hockey Song" fills the air. Center ice. Face off. Finally, a fight breaks out. Five-minute penalty with an extra two minutes for 'unsportsmanlike conduct'. Shots on goal. Icing. Hooking. Saves. Goals. Whistles blow. Puck hits post. Reverberated pang envelops room. Puck stopped. Royals pull goalie. Empty net. Chiefs battle it out as hit puck slides down ice rink: bated breath as puck rolls and stops inside net. Cheers erupt. GOAL!

Final: 6-3. Chiefs. We visit the team store. Back outside as snow piles.

Go, Chiefs, Go!

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