The scene that surrounded the Columbus Blue Jackets during Game 4 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series at Nationwide Arena was unfathomable for longtime fans in the area.
Here was a team the city could call its own, playing in a state-of-the-art building with a rollicking crowd roaring with every opportunity by the home side. The noise flowed onto the ice surface in waves, the fans screaming for the goal that would extend the series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the perennial NHL powerhouse and burgeoning rival.
The eyes of the hockey world were on the Ohio capital as the pesky Blue Jackets attacked, looking to make the statement that after a 15-year journey they had arrived as a force.
Ed Gingher, who runs the city's only AAA youth hockey program, was there that night. He is heavily invested in what the Blue Jackets do because it directly impacts the talent pool available to feed his program; plus he does some work for the franchise. He is devoted to the sport, having played and coached it for much of his life.
"I've never heard a building as loud as the one in Columbus during that series," Gingher said.