not even the greek can keep me from hockey.

The Story of The Greek
or, That Time We All Nearly Peed Our Pants in Fear of a 20-Year-Old
by Jenni Ripley

In the most unlikely possible outcome, the Gophers won the Thursday evening play-in game at the Final Five, satisfyingly defeating the St Cloud State Huskies. Friday night, they were up against the WCHA champions, Colorado College, and we knew it would be a hell of a fight.

The game was scoreless after the first period, and we’d racked up approximately 4,000 penalty minutes. Less than a minute into the second, during a power play, CC finally scored. Now, you should know how a goal celebration looks: the player does his little dance, and the rest of his teammates pile on him for HUUUUGS. But such was not the case with Andreas Vlassopoulos.

In our minds, the following event took at least 10 minutes, during which our blood ran cold and we would’ve run all the way back to Minneapolis, had we not been frozen to our seats in fear. The Greek turned away from the goal, and skated directly towards us, glaring with dark and soulless eyes. He coasted right up to the glass, never breaking menacing eye contact with the poor Gophers fan sitting directly in front of us in the first row. Even after his teammates leapt on him, he kept staring. And we had never known such terror.

The Greek took something from us that day. Our souls, perhaps, or our belief that all is good and right with the world.

He did not, however, take the win.

– – – – –

I’ve been looking for a replay of that goal on the YouTubes, but have yet to find one that’s not cut off. I’m dying to see what it looked like from the ice. Seriously, we’ve never been so damn scared of a kid from Colorado. I kind of wish he was a senior so we never had to see him again.

Anyway! Some points:

  1. DID I MENTION THAT I LOVE THE FINAL FIVE???
  2. We had 2nd row seats right by one of the faceoff circles. I didn’t know this til I opened the ticket package last week; since I figured we weren’t even going to make the tournament, I didn’t want to look at them til I sold them. HA.
  3. The Gophers ended up with 2nd place to Denver, which was totally fine. We made it way farther than we ever expected. We proved we can hang with (and beat) the current best teams in the conference. Hell, we beat the #1 team in the country earlier this season. Also, Denver’s a really good team.
  4. North Dakota did not win. This is just as important.
  5. We made it to the NCAA tournament, and play Boston College on Saturday.
  6. We may have the greatest goalie on earth.

There are few things I love more in this world than Gophers hockey. So few, as a matter of fact, that I can list them:

– Matt
– my awesome friends
– travel

That’s it. And that’s probably why we can’t go live full-time in the tropics; they don’t get FSN there.

In other news, I’m going to the doctor in less than an hour because there are still demons in my head. I’d be happy if they just attached a vacuum to my face and suctioned out my sinuses, then my ears. That sounds way better than antibiotics, anyway.

Happy Spring!
Jenni

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