Nick Bjugstad will never forget that night in April 2003.
The Minnesota Wild his favorite team were in the midst of a Game 7 overtime battle against the Colorado Avalanche trying to capture their first playoff series victory.
Tucked away in bed on a school night the 10-year-old Bjugstad listened intently for a sign. Anything to indicate an outcome.
"I was still awake" Bjugstad said. "I was wired from watching the third period and I didn't want to go to bed."
He did not have to wait long. Minnesota's Andrew Brunette came through with the clinching goal 3:25 into the extra period. Bjugstad heard his father Mike screaming in the basement.
"I knew we won -- I knew the Wild won" Bjugstad said. "I can't say 'we' anymore."
Bjugstad a first-round pick of the Florida Panthers may have to shed his allegiance to the Wild. But it has not stopped the rookie from reminiscing about his childhood team -- the one he'll get to face for the first time Saturday night.
The prospect of facing the ...