The blue and orange army are always front and center at the Nassau Coliseum as they reign down their soccer like chants and songs to the fans of the ancient building on Hempstead turnpike.
Every team needs its most passionate and loyal supporters to come out regardless of the results on the ice and nobody does it better than this collection of men and women.
To help celebrate the new year it was road trip time as a core base of section 329 made their way up to Boston to watch the Islanders ring in 2014 against the Boston Bruins. And after defeating the mighty Eastern conference team for the second time this season, it just might have to become a ritual.
Tom Ballantyne, a loyal contributor with his monthly power rankings and personal friend to Eyes On Isles, decided to write about their experience. You can follow Tom on Twitter right here.
BOA Tales from the Road: The Invasion of Boston
By Tom Ballantyne
New Year’s Eve: the last day of 2013, and the Blue and Orange Army, in two cars, began a four-hour journey to Beantown, invading enemy territory for just the second time this season, (well, at least in a large group, there’s been smaller groups that have been to road games, but those are unimportant now.)
Led by yours truly, my second road game of the year, the invasion had begun. In one car was myself, my girlfriend Michelle Frankel, Matt “The Pessimatt” Stein, Kayla Shofner, and Big Vin Santangelo, who of course brought his “Mini C” Okposo jersey. In the other car was Lauren Malesky, Carmella, Ed Metzger, and Steven Nosomowitz. We arrived in Boston, and soon after headed to TD Garden, or Gahden to the Bostonian, to make our presence known. The boos, the jeers, the dirty looks, the random people yelling “Islanders suck”, and “prepare to watch the Bruins destroy your team were nothing out of the ordinary pre-game wise on the way in.
As we made our way up to ice level, we just so happened to spot Josh Bailey, Eric Boulton and Aaron Ness heading up the same escalator as us. Of course, we had to let Bailey know we were there, and he smiled and laughed as we sung the Josh Bailey song and proceeded to tell them that we’ll see them back home Thursday. After letting the boys know we were there during warm-ups, we headed to our seats, sadly not in 329, but 327 for that night. After thoroughly enjoying a phenomenal national anthem by Rene Rancourt, the game was underway.
We did our best to make our presence known while also making sure not to anger the Bruins fans that much (being severly outnumbered kind of forces that), chanting “Let’s Go Islanders” to ourselves and just having a good time. As the Isles’ headed to their first powerplay of the game, a Bruins fan yelled to us “Don’t get too excited, they ain’t scoring here.” “The Pessimatt” replied, “Damn straight we’re not!” Shortly after, the Great Dane buried the first of four powerplay goals, knotting things up at one.
All of us were pumped to see Nabby keep the Bruins off the board after Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara gave the B’s a 3-1 lead in the second to allow the Isles to pick up the come from behind victory with a lot of help from a special appearance from the “clutch” JT, after acting like A-Rod and picking up most of his points in essentially garbage time in losses.
The Bruins fans were actually a great bunch for the most part. Many were nice to us and even asked if we were having fun and said “Happy New Year” to us as they left, while some yelled at us for standing and cheering after goals, and one even reminded us where they were in the standings, which was quite the cool story as some of us would say. We went back to the hotel and rang in the new year in the great city of Boston after the comeback victory.
A great way to end a great night…..Until the next road trip, you know where we’ll be. Forever cheering the blue and orange from section 329 at the Nassau Coliseum.