I became a hockey fan accidentally eight years ago. I was raised on baseball and I never payed any attention to other sports. When my friend had an extra ticket to a New York Islanders game I went figuring I could at least say I had been to one hockey game in my life. Little did I know that at that game, I would fall in love with the sport and the New York Islanders.
I live within 20 minutes of Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum where the Islanders have spent the past 43 years playing. This season was the last one that the old barn would be hosting, next season the Islanders leave Long Island all together for Brooklyn and the Barclays Center. Now I can’t complain that much, because at least they are staying in the same state and Brooklyn isn’t that far away from where I live, but it is the end of an era, hockey is no longer being played on Long Island.
I don’t have much to go off of, I’ve only ever watched hockey at the Coliseum, I’ve never stepped foot in another arena. The Coliseum might be outdated, but it is a great arena to watch a game in. No matter where you sit, you have a perfect view whether you are in a low row or the last row, how many other arenas can say that?
Even though I haven’t been a fan for that long, I have so many memories of my many games at the Coliseum. I’ll miss tailgating in the parking lot before the game, since I’ll be taking the train to Brooklyn. I’ll miss the car horn honking tradition that fills the parking lot, streets and parkway after the Islanders win. I’ll cherish the hat tricks, the come from behind victories, the shoot out goals and the wins that I’ve witnessed in the building.
Unfortunately the Islanders season ended on Monday night with a game 7 loss in the first round of the playoffs. This season the team played incredibly well, better than they have been in years and of course you wish they could’ve ended the season with a Stanley Cup victory, but they gave us a great season to close out 43 years of history. They rocked the old barn this year and gave me even more memories to cherish.