It has been a great few weeks to be covering hockey in the Golden Arena.
You never know where a season is going to go when players are coming together at the start of a season. So many things can change in a split second that alter how the year will be remembered.
At the start of the year players on the Golden Rockets had a quiet confidence that this was going to be a good year. In many conversations players spoke of the returning blueliners as being a great place to build a team from.
But as the season progressed it certainly has not been without struggles. The start of the season was slow by all accounts. Players seemed to have a hard time getting out of the gate, but asked for a little time to get things right. There were a number of injuries that kept players out of the lineup. Goalies came and went until a rock was found to take over full time duties.
As the season went on things on the ice started to come together. The Rockets moved their way up through the division, and on more than one occasion, surprised teams that were higher in the rankings.
Right through to the end of the season things were improving. The Rockets battled for the supremacy of their division with a long-time rival right up to the final games.
Then something happened that seemed to cause the perfect playoff storm. The Rockets not only caused a buzz with the fans who watched them all year, but they also strived to get the whole town behind them.
As the crowds grew, the noise got louder and suddenly playoff hockey was the hottest draw in town.
There is nothing quite like being in an arena and seeing everyone from small children to the oldest soul cheering and laughing as their team gives their best on the ice.
In Golden, as the goals went in, people cheered and some even climbed on the glass to share in the moment with the adopted sons of the community.
Hockey has been a part of the Canadian culture for years. We see it as our game, and when the team you support is on the ice giving their all, it is a special moment, whether it is the Rockets, the Rams or your favourite National Hockey League team.
There is something about the cold arena, the hot french fries and a cold beverage that is perfectly mixed with great goals, big hits and inspiring saves.
By the time this paper comes out the season could be still rolling along, or it could be over. No one knows what will happen when the Rockets come home in the third round. But wherever the rest of the season goes it has to be said, what a great ride it has been.
Records have been broken, fans have filled the arena, and when it all ends, a great group of players can know they came together for a run to remember.
P.S. Best of luck to Curt Thorne for being nominated in the Kraft Hockey Goes On online competition