Dallas Stars forward Blake Comeau is keeping his own blog throughout the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which saw Dallas rally for a 4-2 victory against the Nashville Predators at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Wednesday.
In his second entry, Comeau talks about the atmosphere of the game, leaving early before returning to score late in the second period, and the character the Stars showed by rallying in the third period for the third straight game.
What an incredible day this was from start to finish.
[RELATED: Complete 2020 NHL Winter Classic coverage]
When we got here this morning, a group of us walked down to the playing field before we started warming up to get a feel for everything. It was a completely different feel from yesterday. We saw some of the things they had around the inside of the bowl at the bottom. The horses were out there and the pig races were set up. It was just a really cool touch to have that Texas vibe, that Texas feel.
To walk down that tunnel at the start of the game was something else, hearing all those fans on their feet and cheering so loudly. To have the horses out there, the anthem, the fireworks, the flyover, the whole atmosphere was so much fun to be a part of.
However, things didn't start well for us. We took an early major penalty there on Corey Perry and then I got that delay of game penalty to give them a 5-on-3.
It felt like the longest two minutes of my life while I was in the penalty box, and then they scored the first goal. We were hoping to kill the second penalty, and for them to get the second goal was frustrating. But it's a credit to the guys in the room that we didn't start to deviate from what we had talked about before the game and how we wanted to play. We stuck with it.
Then I got hurt. I just had the wind knocked out of me when I got hit by the Nashville player, but I had to go back to the room to get check out. I was just happy that I was able to come back and contribute.
Scoring that goal in the last minute of the second period was amazing.
Video: NSH@DAL: Comeau finishes off the feed from Dickinson
It was a great play by Jason Dickinson. He tried to get some speed and I saw him come around the net and I tried to find that soft little hole and put the pass from him on net as fast as I could.
I didn't get the shot up as much as I wanted to be honest, I knew Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was down in the net and it went five-hole. I saw it kind of go right under him and I saw the guys celebrate and I threw my hands right up in the air.
Whether you score or get scored on in the last minute of a period, it's a big momentum shift. After that, I don't think we had any doubts that we were going to be able to come back.
I think it's a good quality to have for your team to be able to come back. We have done it in each of the past three games, but we obviously don't want to make a habit of it. We've addressed having some slow starts lately and that's something that we wanted to fix. Tonight, with the penalties, it was a little different situation. It wasn't like we weren't playing great 5-on-5. It's always more fun to play with the lead. It's a good quality to have that we know how to battle back and win games from behind and we'll take it and we'll move forward.
Now that the game is over, it's pretty cool to have scored a goal in a game like this. To do it with a minute left in the second when we're down two goals, I felt like it added a little life and gave us some momentum going into the third.
Looking back, it's pretty awesome that my family was in town and got to see it in person. You know, I've had some messages, checked my phone and got a lot of texts.
I think scoring that goal will be my most cherished memory. There's a lot of people who don't get to have an experience like this during their career where they're able to score a goal in a game like this. I will be able to look back at the video and then show it to my children and grandkids. That's something that I'm really going to enjoy.
The whole thing was just an outstanding experience. I think everyone that was able to come to the game really enjoyed it. I know that we did.