By Julie Esquibel
Ever since I was young, sports have always played on TV around my home. This has changed minimally, over the years.
Since I’ve grown up watching and playing sports, I’ve naturally grown accustomed to having both a favorite sport and a favorite team. One sport I’ve always loved is hockey.
Even being in La Grande now, my adoration for hockey has grown stronger. Being from California, some might guess that my team is the “LA Kings.” In return you might get a scrunched up face and an “ew.”
Both my parents hail from San Jose, so logically, I’ve also grown to love the San Jose Sharks. Now, you might be thinking, “Why do you like a team who has never won a cup and disappoints in the playoffs almost every year?”
I could list off a handful of reasons, but the main one is faith. I have hope that one day my San Jose Sharks will face off against a team for the cup. I’m definitely looking forward to the day…
My first favorite player ever was number 18 (at the time), Mike Ricci. I liked him so much, that after learning that he had to get false front teeth due to a hockey puck to the face, I decided to pull my own two loose, front baby teeth out to be just like him. I think I became a true Sharks fan at that moment!
Over Spring Break I attended two hockey games at the Sharks’ home at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. I attended the first game with my parents on Thursday, March 28.
The Sharks played against the dreadful Detroit Red Wings. The only goals scored that night were against the Red Wings, resulting in a shutout for the Sharks for the second night in a row. The night before, the Sharks had shut out the Anaheim Ducks 5-0.
The first goal came early in the first by Joe Pavelski. The second and last goal came from one of my favorite players, Brent Burns. This particular Thursday night turned out fantastic for both my parents and I.
The next game I attended was March 30 with my father; we sat about 8 rows behind a goal. It was the closest I had been to the ice and I’ve been going to games since I was small.
The Sharks were up against the Phoenix Coyotes, looking for another home ice win. The first goal of the night went to the Coyotes in the 1st period, thus ending Antti Niemi’s 2- hour-plus shutout.
The second goal of the game went to Joe Pavelski on a power play, tying it up in the 2nd. A lot of back and forth hockey resulted in the 3rd goal of the game going to the Coyotes.
Thrillingly, with 5 minutes left in the game, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (also known as “Pickles”) tied up the game 2-2. Going into overtime a lot of frustration was brought out in the five minutes of extra play time.
This earned Ryane Clowe a tripping penalty with barely 13 seconds on the clock. But the Sharks played great defense and dragged the game to a shootout. After a goal from Logan Couture and three saves by Niemi, the Sharks took away another home ice win.
Both of these games were definitely a highlight of my Spring Break. With a little bit of hope the Sharks can and will prevail. If you see me around, the girl with teal underneath long, dark hair, feel free to talk sports– especially hockey.