Final Score
Jets: 5
Bismarck: 4

Ivy & Ice Man

Game Highlight
Heroic stripping

Alright, the spies have caught me. This technically was NOT my first Jets game of the year. That would have been the Helena game in mid-October which ended in a shootout win for the Jets. So yes, I was there. But I was there only from the third period on, didn't purchase a ticket, and was basically only an accessory to the fun. If you want to criticize me and call me a liar for declaring this as my opening Jets weekend...

...then you really need more important things to complain about. Like Mastercard commercials or the Facebook.

Now, this also was not my first trip to Bismarck. That's probably not surprising to you, so I should instead say that this was not my first trip to Bismarck for hockey. In addition to watching my cousin play Pee Wee hockey there years ago, I also made it out to the National Tournament last year for both Texas games. So this was familiar territory for me, even if it was the first time I had actually seen the Bobcats themselves play in their home arena.

I was not really too nervous about the outcome of the game. I was confident in the Jets abilities to pull out a win, but more importantly, I was confident in my abilities to have a spectacular time after the game regardless of said outcome. What I was nervous about was the crowd dynamic. At nationals last year, my hatred level for Bismarck had shifted from "guy who stole my girlfriend" level to somewhere near "Grandma." I know that this is appalling, especially since I neglected to journal any of those games and offer an explanation. But here it is: At the tournament, the Bismarck fans rallied beyond the Jets and adopted them as their own. While they could have gotten behind the Texas players like Train and Punches (real names), they instead decided to side with Fargo-Moorhead players like Pipeline and Brontosaurus (not real names.)

Where would this crowd stand? Hell, where would the allegiances of the Bismarck collegians with me lie? These were burning questions that one and only one person in the audience was dying to know. And I'll give you a hint: He's probably the author.

The Game

From the beginning, the Jets were steamrolling the Bobcats. Opening up leads of 4-0 and 5-1, the Jets were very impressive hockey-wise. And I have to give the Bobcats credit for doing their part too: Their decision to bring Jacques Lamoreux back for his nineteenth season of junior hockey allowed me to hate them with a passion that brings my level back to "junior high bully." Perfect.

My co-pilots were a mixed bag, on the other hand. The Ice Man at first thought that he would be a Bobcats fan, but my overall Jets moxie and the fact that we were sitting two feet from the players led to an easy conversion. Ivy, on other hand, was a tougher sell. Rooting herself in the Bobcats camp, she now has to live with the fact that she is both a Nintendo game stealer and a Bobcats fan. These scarlet letters are damaging enough on their own, but added together they are an unmitigated disaster.

Back to hockey, the Bobcats decided in the third period that they weren't going to screw around anymore and started turning the lamp behind the head of Jets' goaltender B.J. O'Brien the same color as the pads on the legs of B.J. O'Brien. Narrowing the deficit to an incredibly shaky 5-4, the Jets looked like they were on the verge of collapse.

Naturally, I took it upon myself to will this team to victory. I shed my blase` overshirt, to expose the Jets t-shirt I was proudly wearing underneath. As if to say, "God bless you, t-shirt wearing maven," the puck decided to miss a wide-open Jets net moments later to preserve a Jets victory. I quickly had a nervous picture taken of me snapped by the team bench and allowed the Jets absolute escape of a victory to carry me into a more consistently dominating night of entertainment.

And thanks to the work of the Ice Man and me, the only people in the building cheering for the Jets that do not receive some sort of compensation from the Jets, we were able to push our Spirit Score here:

And no thanks to Ivy, because this definitely should have been a 3.

Final Thoughts

This game brought my All Seasons Arena attendance record to a 2-1 Jets mark. Not too shabby. Certainly a nice way to start my 05-06 Jets campaign. Oh, and if you didn't like this journal, I have the same thoughts written in a completely different form available on:

The Leonardite 2005
Dedicated to The Stick