Perhaps Katie Burt said it best on Friday after she had just finished skating with fellow goaltenders Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros and the rest of the Predators at their practice.
In town for the National Women's Hockey League All-Star Weekend, which included the Skills Competition on Saturday at Ford Ice Center, followed by the All-Star Game on Sunday at Bridgestone Arena, Burt had a decent idea as to what she thought might have been coming over the next two days.
"It's such a great city, and they've grown into such a great hockey town," Burt said of Nashville. "Our skills competition is sold out, and it just goes to show that they're not just Predators fans, they're hockey fans. I know they're ready for us to come into down and put on a show."
And that was before she knew the NWHL was about to set an all-time attendance record.
Following the Predators game against St. Louis on Sunday afternoon, a total of 6,120 were on hand to see Burt and Team Szabados defeat Team Stecklein, 3-2, in a shootout to cap off what was yet another display of proof that Nashville is indeed a hockey town.
"That was definitely crazy when they announced that," All-Star Captain Lee Stecklein said of the record attendance. "We came in the locker room and were talking about it, and I hope it just keeps going, hope we keep getting more fans. I want to thank Nashville because that's incredible that people were interested in staying and watching us."
"I want to come back every year here," NWHL All-Star Amanda Kessel said. "It's fun for us to come here and be able to hang out downtown, but the fans here are incredible… Everything from start to finish was just really well run and we were happy that we had an environment like this and fans to play in front of."
It was a banner weekend for the NWHL in a city that hosted the NHL's version of All-Star Weekend just three years ago. That instantly became widely regarded as the best NHL All-Star Weekend the League has ever seen, and after the past 48 hours, the NWHL feels the same.
"Nashville has a unique hockey community, and to continue to get a chance to grow the girls' side of it here is awesome," Stecklein said. "We got to meet with a bunch of youth teams and really feel welcome here in Nashville. It's definitely something we appreciate."