I'm not sure I can effectively describe how I felt on Saturday, watching that hockey game. I was an absolute train-wreck for most of it. Words can't describe the ups and downs I went through over the course of 3 hours. One minute pissed off, one minute hopeful, one minute in tears of anguish, one minute being completely convinced that I might be the first 23-year-old to suffer a heart attack while watching a hockey game.
Since then, I've heard stories of people who had to leave their TV screens going into OT, because they were just as nervous as I was. They couldn't stand to watch.
For the record, I'm glad I hung in there. When Alfie finally scored the winner at 9:32 of Overtime...Well, I have no idea how to explain that feeling other that absolute EUPHORIA. I jumped. I screamed. I felt tears in my eyes, and I couldn't stop shaking. It was unbelievable. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it for the world, even though there were several times during the game that I almost locked myself in the bathroom and refused to watch.
I haven't gotten married, and I don't have children, so I can honestly say that moment was probably one of the happiest moments of my life, rivalled right up there by the night we received the phone call to tell us Caden had arrived. It was the sweetest, most poetic justice, to have Alfie scoring that goal, after it was he who took the heat last Spring when Jason Pominville went around him in OT of Game 5 vs. Buffalo in the Semis to end our season.
I've heard the stories of what it was like in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, and part of me really wishes I could have been there to hear the horns blaring, to join the fans on Elgin street to baptize Sens Mile, to even just be one of the hundreds of people on their balconies waving a Sens Flag, cheering, singing, and high-fiving my neighbours. I also would've loved to have been at the airport when the team landed, to join in that celebration and to see their smiles and absorb that elation.
However, the party in Quyon was pretty friggin' awesome, too. Moments after the CBC cut to soccer (boneheads), I hopped in my car and toured around town, meeting several other cars with horns blaring and flags flapping victoriously. I was outside when a huge truck painted in Sens colours and loaded with fans chanting "GO SENS GO" drove by, and I was able to catch it on video tape. People were on the sidewalks proudly wearing Sens colours, whooping and laughing and shouting in excitement.
Then, when we went to Gavan's for Nick & Tammy's Mixed Party, the celebration continued. Many were decked out in Red, Black & Gold, with Sens tatoos on their cheeks and perma-grins on their lips. One of the best moments for me was up on the dancefloor, when the band paused between songs, I shouted, "GO SENS GO", and within seconds, the entire bar was roaring it at the top of their lungs. It gave me goosebumps.
I've been through a lot of highs and lows with this team. I've had a lot to cheer about; a lot to cry about. It hasn't always been easy, but on Saturday, it finally felt like it was all worth it.
Now we're four games away from the Stanley Cup.
Part of me still can't believe it.
The other part of me just can't wait...It's already been such a great ride.
And now we're there. We're at the dance. It's not an opportunity that comes often, so these are the days we have to savour, embrace, and make memborable...It's been a long time coming, and the Sens deserve it. So do their fans.
And now it's time to get ready for the Stanley Cup Finals...If we win that, I might just burst...
GO SENS GO!!