Sing it with me! Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

I took a crash course in Blackhawks as we headed down to Chicago for my first NHL game at the United Center.

“I should know the words to Chelsea Dagger, shouldn’t I?” I said.

Turns out, the words aren’t the point of Chicago’s famous goal song. Good thing, too, because I ended up singing Chelsea Dagger along with 20,000 of my new closest friends five times before the Blackhawks finished rolling over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night.

Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

I loved everything about the night, the raucous National Anthem, the sold-out arena, the handmade knit hat on the sweet little girl sitting next to me.

Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

I loved that my camera mysterious switched settings as I sprinted toward the stadium, lending a film noir quality to those first couple of shots, which was exactly wrong because the whole stadium and its surrounding neighborhood pulsates with joy on game nights.

Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

I loved that the chatty lady who sat behind us spoke with a rapture to which I can relate about how she had been a season ticket holder for the last 25 years. Then she offered to take our picture. Then she cut our heads off in all but one.

Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

I love all the big scoops of hand packed ice cream people ate in section 115. Ice Cream! Because who needs hot chocolate when you’re spending two hours on ice?

I love that Jonathon Toews, who scored two of the five goals we saw, famously took the Stanley Cup for a Canadian bus ride.

I love that Jim Cornelison sings the national anthem with dignity and panache at every home game.

I love that the United Center has been sold out for Blackhawks games since March 2008.

In short, I love the Chicago Blackhawks.

Da Da da-Da Da da-Da da Da-da-da-da-da.

Sprint in
Hilariously, I accidentally bumped my camera as we sprinted in, and I ended up with these inaccurate but kind of cool photos that don’t capture the excitement of the evening.
Film Noir
…and yet I’m including them.
Hand knit hat
Lights! Color! The Lollipop Guild! How sweet is this little munchkin? (See what I did there?) Someone who loves her and the Blackhawks hand knit that hat.
Her Blackhawk Boots
I thought this lady’s boots were cool, but now that I’m safely back home she scares me a little.
Vince and me
An enthusiastic season ticket holder of 25 years took this shot.
Toews sets up
But I took this one and I’m quite proud. Here is Jonathan Toews setting up and…
Goal!!!! I am absurdly pleased with this picture. See that puck in that net? Got that right from my seat in Section 115.
Goal aftermath
We’re preparing to sing our first round of Chelsea Dagger here.
I think face-offs are pretty cool.
Face off
Apparently, you can body check in hockey too.
The Blackhawks Win!
One last round of Chelsea Dagger following the 5-2 win.
Chicago Blackhawks
Blackhawks Win! If you look closely, you can see the whole history of the team hanging from those rafters.

Here’s a little Chelsea Dagger for you, from the fifth goal…


And here’s the rowdy National Anthem…

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