Ellie Enlightens Anjali in Hockey

By Anjali Nayak 

It would be an understatement to say that Eleanor Rodhouse and I are close friends. We’re always together—whether it’s in Eric Buran’s fifth period AP Government class, at Barnes and Nobles pretending to study, or on our way to…hockey games?

That’s right. As certified softball besties, we take it in each other’s liberty to indulge in each other’s interests. The latest has been hockey. Ever since seeing the wondrous Jack Hughes on the New Jersey Devils, Ellie has been obsessed with the sport. Of course, I was naturally strung along into the politics and culture of the National Hockey League.

While at work on a fine Saturday afternoon, I got a text from Ellie asking if I wanted to go to tonight’s San Jose Sharks game against the Colorado Avalanches with friends from church. I said yes. We took the CalTrain, giving Ellie plenty of time to explain to me the newest top players and teams—basically everything I needed to know to understand the sport. I learned a lot, but there was one thing I especially learned from the night.

The San Jose Sharks are very bad at hockey.

Upon walking into the half-full (optimism!) SAP Center, the two of us were gifted “Luchador Goalie Masks” in honor of Los Tiburones Night. As festive as the decoration and spirits were, the vibrancy couldn’t lend a hand to the Sharks’ terrible defense, offense, and everything in between. Nonetheless, we had a blast: I got to witness the Sharks’s epic introduction to the ice (I still have no idea where the shark head comes from), participate in “The Chomp” for the first time, watch Sharkie bang a plastic drum to an earsplitting intensity, and Thomas Bordeleau’s first goal. At first, the Sharks were simply not very good. But out of nowhere, goalie Mackenzie Black decided to become an absolute force to be reckoned with. This was very much to Ellie’s dismay as he was “as good as a child wearing roller blades on an ice hockey rink” when he was with the Devils. Nonetheless, the Sharks had made their way to a shootout.

We sat at the edge of our seats, watching in anticipation as the Sharks (once again) proved incapable of clutching up and winning the game.

Ellie said it best: “I’m not surprised that we had such a good time at the game. I’m even less surprised that the goalie masks were by far our favorite part. I loved getting into all the specific details of the game, and it actually was a pretty close game.”

As tragic as the game was the two of us cultivated a new shared love for going to hockey games and a new shared hatred for the SAP french fries that gave us stomach problems for the next two day.