Our oldest daughter, the precious blue-eyed angel, turned 31 on Saturday (YIKES!) and we celebrated by attending the Dallas Stars game at American Airlines Center. It was supposed to be a surprise but she ruined it about three weeks ago, Whitney was snooping where she shouldn’t have been and discovered something she wasn’t supposed to know. To her everlasting credit, she quickly confessed. But then she spent the next 20 days worrying about which Stars socks she was going to wear to the game.
We got to Dallas Friday evening, early enough to spend some quality time with our youngest daughter Carley and our son-in-law Collin. Mexican food at Christina’s in Lewisville hit the spot and a Saturday birthday brunch at First Watch was exactly what we needed to get us through to the pizza we were planning to eat during first intermission.
It was our first time to see the recently installed Dirk Nowitzki statue outside the AAC. Magnificent. Loyalty never fades away. Perfect.
We splurged for really good seats at the top of the lower level, near the face off circle on the visitors side. Four young men from Canada sitting behind us had flown in Friday from Ontario to watch their Edmonton Oilers. Beauty, eh? The rest of us in our section were Stars fans and we were reminded again why there is nothing in all of sports like NHL hockey. The first period was eerily quiet as 20,000 people almost silently watch the two teams size each other up. The whole crowd is locked in. Nobody moves. Everybody’s eyes are on the ice. The anticipation is building. It’s really remarkable. Then the explosion of six goals scored in the wild second period had us on that roller coaster. Dallas up 1-0, then gives up the equalizer in about 40-seconds. Dallas down 2-1 and then ties it up on a power play goal. It’s 3-3 heading to the final period. Dallas killed off a crazy five-on-three power play late in the third, and it felt like Game Seven of the Conference Finals. The whole place was going nuts, you couldn’t hear yourself think. The Stars hit the post twice on shots at the other end, and wound up going to overtime. Less than 30-seconds into the extra frame, Wyatt Johnston got out of position and was whistled on a very tickey-tack hooking penalty. Edmonton went on the power play and, seven seconds later, it was over. Edmonton won it 4-3.
Hockey is the only sport that gives you a true sudden death overtime. And it always feels like death when you’re on the losing end. It’s so sudden. That arena instantly went from a million decibels to zero. In a flash. The whole thing is a three-hour heart attack.
I blamed Whitney for choosing the wrong socks.