Defending Big D's Summer Contest: You pick the winner

I apologize to all of the Defending Big D readers this is going up so late today. Due to technical difficulties, this post was not published earlier this morning as scheduled.

A few weeks ago we ran the first contest here at Defending Big D. The challenge: tell us, in detail, your favorite moment as a Dallas Stars fan. This could have been a great moment for the franchise, or just an unforgettable personal moment for you the fan.

We had some great entries, but in the end we've narrowed it down to three finalists. Vote for who you believe had the best memory as a fan, and the winner will receive a gift from the Official Dallas Stars Shop.

The finalists and their entries are after the jump. Vote for your winner.

Voting ends 7am, Tuesday morning.

Finalist #1

ibsurfer91932:

In 2008 I went to my first playoff game since the Stars were playing the Ducks in the first round and the Honda Center is 110 miles away from where I live . Well I ended up going to game 5 of that series in Anahiem and usually I have no problem going up to Anahiem to watch games the Ducks fans dont get TOO out of hand attitude wise and besides I can mouth off myself ;) however, it was playoffs and the natives were restless and there was me, my pops, and less Stars fans then im used to. I brought my Texas flag with the Stars logo to the game which I dont think they liked at all lol. Anywho, I knew playoff hockey was intense but watching it live with all the energy around was just something else. I remember the Stars playing a close game with the ducks, that is until the 3rd period we lost the lead and then here comes Selane down the wing pretty much on a breakaway and Turco decideds to try and check him and my first reaction was "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!?" until he hit him enough to slow him down and Fistric had to dive to make sure the puck didnt go in the net. the Stars sadly ended up losing that game, and some Ducks fan ended up taking a rally towel and shoved it in my face, thus almost resorting to a fight but I wasnt gonna fight a guy on my 18th birthday and not over a game I wasnt playing in myself. But I will never forget the experience and the energy a playoff game has when you watch it in person.

Then probably a week and a half later I watched arguably the best Stars game on TV next to game 6 of the ’99 finals of course. That game was game 6 of round 2 against the Sharks. I remember being so nervous and watching both goalies just being amazing. Then the Morrow hit came on Michalek and I remember jumping up off the couch letting out the biggest "OHHHHHHHH!!!!!". What a fine piece of hitting that was. I remember that game going on what seemed like forever and I was thinking " is this game ever going to end?!". Then if I remember right San Jose took a penalty in 4OT which led to the Morrow goal and I thought "this is the chance we need" and sure enough Morrow stands in front of the goal and redirects the puck into the net and I remeber going nuts nuts inside my house. Just an awesome game that was. That was a good playoff run, but I hope we have more and ALOT more.

Finalist #2

dahstars988:

This moment/day is insignificant in the history of the Stars, but it is a day I’ll remember.

As a Stars fan living on Long Island (born and raised), I hardly get to see Stars games in person. So any time they come to the tri-state area, I go. I started following them at the end of the 96-97 season and have been a fan since. This day was in November of 1999, after they had already won the Cup.

They were playing the Islanders and my parents decided to take me out of school (I was 11 at the time) to see if we could see their practice. When we got there, there were 10-15 middle-aged autograph hounds outside Nassau Coliseum. Unfortunately, we had just missed them walking over from the Marriott that is no more than 1,500 feet from the arena (pre 9-11, all teams used to walk outside between the arena and hotel). I waited nearly 2 hours outside until their practice ended and it was freezing.

Finally, the team started coming out 1 by 1 and along with my 7 year old brother, we running to every player we could get to and get their autograph. We were able to get just about everybody (no Belfour or Hatcher) and got personal pictures with Zubov and Sydor as well as coach Hitchcock. Also, my family and I had the pleasure of speaking with Ralph and Razor as well as Brian Skrudland. But the real memory is Brett Hull. As soon as he stepped out of the arena, he started yelling at the autograph hounds to stay away and don’t even bother. However, my brother and I ran over to him, along with a hound, and the guy asked Hull to sign for us, and Hull said, "Sure, these guys are the real fans." As an 11 year old kid, I was wide-eyed and thought that I was the Number 1 Stars fan in the world. When all was said and done, I had 2 Stars Stanley Cup Champion hats signed by the team as well as a signed Modano jersey and a signed #22 Hull jersey.

But that’s not all. At the game the tickets my family purchased was right next too where the Stars walked out onto the ice and during the game, Benoit Hogue (I believe it was him, either he was hurt or scratched) was standing right next to where we were seated and we started talking to him. He showed us his Cup ring and even got us a broken stick. Stars won the game 2-1 and after the game, my family and I bumped into Bob Gainey who was walking around the arena. Needless to say I got a picture and an autograph.

As I said earlier, this moment isn’t one any other Stars fan can claim they experienced and that is why it is my favorite.

Finalist #3

vofty:

Gotta give a little background first. I’m an graduate student pursuing my M.D./Ph.D. degrees about 3 1/2 hours away from Dallas. Med school had finished by this point, but I was required for my program to do summer rotations in science labs to try to find what lab I wanted to do my Ph.D. My fabulous boyfriend knows what a big Stars fan I am and got tickets to all of the playoff games. This meant, however, that for every game I had to drive 3 1/2 hours from my school after I finished in the lab to Dallas and then had to get up around 5:30 to drive 3 1/2 hours back to the lab and do a full days work. It was grueling to say the least. Luckily though this game was on a Sunday so I had gotten to spend the whole weekend in Dallas.

During the San Jose series my boyfriend landed us awesome tickets 3 rows up behind the goal where the Stars shoot at twice during regulation. We sat down at the start of the game ready for a low-scoring gritty contest. However, little did we know we would get more than our moneys worth on this one. It wasn’t too shocking when regulation ended and the score was still tied 1-1, afterall the series had already gone to overtime 3 other times. Couldn’t help but feel the Stars had the momentum after that crushing body check Morrow threw on Michalek to take him out of the game.

It was truly a goalies duel, both Turco and Nabokov made fantastic save after fantastic save, and the night wore on. The first overtime came and went with nothing added to the scoresheet except saves by both goaltenders, including the amazing glove save by Nabokov on Richards that almost ended it.

The second overtime came and went and you could see the exhaustion on the players faces as they tried to will their body to respond, but there simply didn’t seem to be enough energy. The crowd was beginning to feel it as well, they were lively during play but once intermissions hit, everyone was back in their seat almost too tired to talk.

The third overtime came, again with players so tired they could barely make standard plays, shifts were very short. The Sharks at this point seemed to have more energy and had the better chances. Then came a penalty on Grossman, hooking. The refs hadn’t called a penalty since the second period and now in triple overtime they call a hooking penalty? It was amazingly scary for the Sharks to be a man up in triple overtime, where the guys are so tired they can barely move and now they have to kill a penalty. Marty was spectacular, he answered every challenge the Sharks threw at him. The Stars survived the penalty kill and the third period. The fans were so tired during this intermission they barely even talked to each other, I’ve never been somewhere that had so many people in it, but was so quiet and dead at the same time.

Then came the fourth overtime. After having to kill off a penalty during the third overtime, the Stars got a break of their own when Campbell was called for tripping Eriksson. Everyone found energy from some unknown reserve, this was the opportunity the Stars had been waiting 4 overtimes for! The powerplay didn’t start off too hot with a couple of giveaways and a shot on goal from SJ on Marty. But less than 20 seconds later it wouldn’t matter. Robidas carried the puck down the right side, gets a shot on net and Mr. DragonSlayer himself is setup right on Nabokov’s lap to pick up the rebound and pound the puck into the goal after the third longest game in Stars history. The crowd goes insane! Brenden Morrow solidified himself as a hero. Being 3rd row right behind the goal where Morrow pounded it home to send the Stars to the Western Conference Finals will always be a moment that is frozen in time for me. Yes getting to the games from school was a ton of driving and extremely tiring, because I still had to get up at 5:30 to head back, but I couldn’t have asked for a better reward than what the Stars game me on that night.

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