Panther fans geared up with their flags and jerseys and dyed red hair to the Bank Atlantic Center on Friday April 13 for the Panthers first playoff game in almost 12 years against the New Jersey Devils. The Panthers made a comeback in Panther hockey history this year and became division champions before finally returning to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The game began at 7:30 and the arena was packed and bright red with Panther fans waving their free Stanley Cup towels in the air. The game came off to a rough start for the Panthers when they were down 0 – 3 in the first period of the game.
“The last thing you want is for your team to be down three points. When they got their first goal, I, along with everyone else around me, went insane! With all the horrible calls that the refs were making, getting on the board made the situation much better,“ former student Amanda Zelden said.
Making their comeback in the second period of the game, forward Sean Bergenheim scored the Panthers’ first goal with help from Marcel Goc and Mikael Samuelsson. The Panthers got their second goal within the second period as well, but came out short by the end of the third period losing 2-3 to the Devils.
“I am a season ticket holder for the Panthers and I have never seen it so crowded with fans this wild! It was so great that they got everyone hyped up about the game to make the playoffs an experience to remember,” junior Carli Marsh said.
While they still cheered the Panthers on even through the loss, fans continued their loyalty after the game by shouting, “Panthers!” outside the arena. Though the Panthers may have come out short in their first playoff game in over a decade, fans look forward to the upcoming game against the New Jersey Devils again on Sunday, April 15.