The Islanders and their fans alike started making playoff memories in their new home in Game 3.
Thomas Hickey scored 12:31 into overtime to set off a celebration in Brooklyn. The goal gave the Isles a 4-3 win and a 2-1 series advantage.
"It was incredible," Hickey told reporters when asked about the atmosphere in the building. "I love our fans. I didn't know it was going to be that good. We have a great new culture they seem to be developing here, and we really fed off of that today."
"Our fans were very energetic, to say the least, and we wanted to make sure that we use that to our advantage, and I think tonight we did," Travis Hamonic said. "[When it was] 3-1 [Florida], the crowd was still going. It was rocking, and we felt like we had to keep pushing. Keep pushing."
I sat in Section 114, and I had a blast. Of course, because of the high ceiling, the sound doesn't quite reach that point where it stops becoming loud and just starts buzzing like it did in Nassau. But I looked around before the game when the team hit the ice, saw the orange rally towels waving, while the faithful roared and gave the team a standing ovation, and said to myself, "Yeah, this will do."
I was really impressed with just how good it felt to watch playoff hockey in Brooklyn. From the LIRR to the area under Oculus to inside the arena, everyone was in a festive mood. Islanders' fans really embraced their new home on Sunday, and it made a difference. The place absolutely erupted after Aaron Ekblad's goal was disallowed, and it was bedlam when Hickey hit the back of the twine in OT.
I now know from experience: the Barc is more than capable of being rocked. The Isles hope their fans will do it all over again on Wednesday night.