Friday, January 6th was a joyful night to remember in Raleigh. The victory over Buffalo was enough to make any Caniac smile for days. Although, something occurred before the game that I won’t soon forget.
Our boys in black were warming up on a fresh sheet of ice. I sat three rows from the glass to take some pictures. Excited kids in their spirit gear were beaming and cheering as they watched the players. There were two children, a boy and a girl, directly in front of me about the same age of 9 years old or so. Both kiddos were very well behaved and intently glared at the players with admiration. Bryan Allen came up to the glass beside them, turned his head toward the little girl and gave her a little wink (and a toothless grin as well). It was so adorable. The little girl looked back at her family as if to say, “Holy Mackerel, did you see that?!”
A few moments later, Alexei Ponikarovsky approached the glass and tossed a puck over the partition to the little boy. He caught it with ease and I congratulated him on a good catch, but he didn’t pay attention to me. He had his own agenda…
Young Romeo looked at his puck and then at the cute girl standing beside him. Without saying a word, he held the puck out towards little Juliet. She looked shocked and shook her head to communicate she couldn’t accept the gift. He pushed the puck a little closer to her and encouraged her to accept. Silly Juliet shook her head with more determination and turned her attention back to the ice. Heartbroken Romeo walked away in disappointment…puck still in hand.
That’s hockey kid. Sometimes you get lucky and other times you are competing with a 6’5” defenseman for girl’s affection.