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The State of Hockey

July 03, 2020 by Brett LaBore

Hockey hasn’t been one of the top sports on my list to watch over the course of my life, but I recall one series where hockey became one of the most fun times of my life.

Since I’m from Minnesota, I grew up with the Wild. Known as the State of Hockey, Minnesota is a huge state for hockey. I take a lot of pride in that and have embraced the Minnesota Wild as my favorite NHL team.

I’ve never played hockey myself, but I can see what makes it so fun. Fast skating, passing, goal tending and slapping a puck as hard as one can is exciting. Being from Minnesota, I know how much people love hockey.

I find it interesting Wisconsin doesn’t have a professional hockey team. I’m not sure what their favorite hockey team is or if there is a top amateur or minor league team. I know Chicago and Detroit have hockey teams.

I think it would be really fun if Wisconsin started a professional hockey team. They already have an NFL, MLB and NBA team. Adding a hockey team would be very exciting and I think fans would embrace them.

Since the NHL adopted the Las Vegas Golden Knights a few years ago, adding another team wouldn’t be out of the question.

I don’t watch a lot of hockey, but I have to admit the playoff games are so fun. The crowds are buzzing, waiting to go crazy as soon as a goal is scored. The hockey is fast and there is a sense of urgency.

One memory I do have of playoff hockey is when I got really invested in the 2014 NHL playoffs when the Wild took on the Colorado Avalanche for a series.

The Wild fell down in the series 2-0. When the series came back to Minnesota, I got really excited as we made it closer and closer and closer. We won game three in exciting fashion and eventually tied the series at 2-2. I found myself watching all the games and having a lot of fun.

What made it so fun, aside from it being the playoffs, was how fast and exciting the hockey was. There was a great amount of strategy at the end fo the game. And I absolutely love the horn the Wild has. When we score a goal, it’s the coolest sound in all of hockey. 

To hear that sound always got me excited. I started to believe. I knew the good players on the team, but I started to know more. Plus, the game 3 win came in overtime on a great play that I’ll never forget. And Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul erupted.

The series went back to Colorado where the Avalanche won yet again. They led the series 3-2 as it went back to Minnesota. The Wild won Game 6 convincingly to force a Game 7.  

Game 7 was in Colorado. All the home teams had won so far. This was winner take all and I was worried for the Wild. They weren’t going to be able to feed off the crowd’s energy — the State of Hockey’s energy.

The game ended up going to overtime for the fourth time in the series. This time, we got the best of the Avalanche and won 5-4. I’ve never been so happy for a hockey victory in my life. 

I think we played the Blackhawks next. I was pretty excited to see how far we could go. Unfortunately, that was the last series we played. Nonetheless, the Wild showed how much fun hockey can be, especially in the playoffs. 

Playoff hockey will soon be upon us. With the Wild making the playoffs, I may just have to tune in and cheer on the State of Hockey.

Brett LaBore may be reached at [email protected] or [email protected]


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