In today’s edition of our continuing Fan Story series we’re going to sit down with Yelizaveta Klimenko – a Taifun Primorie Region fan. She spoke how she sacrifices weekends and sleep for her favorite game, growing interest in the junior club, which was Vladivostok’s main team last season.
Making acquaintance with hockey
I came to a hockey game for the first time when I was 12 years old. Admiral [Vladivostok] faced Vityaz [Moscow Region]. That game was unbelievably emotional for me and my parents. After that game we began going to seamen’s hockey games regularly. When I was about 15 years old I truly realized that I couldn’t live without hockey. Do you know when it hit me? In the off-season. Suddenly, I felt that miss the ambience that the game provides. I believe, many fans are familiar with the feeling, when you desperately wait the start of a new season so you could once again feel the emotions that you can get only at hockey. As I have said earlier, my acquaintance with hockey began through KHL but later on I began paying interest to Junior Hockey League, NJHL and VHL. So it’s fair to say that at a certain moment hockey sucked me in whole (smiles).
I still remember my first Junior Hockey League game. It was in the fall of 2018. Our Taifun played against JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg. When I was going to the game I thought it was going to be exactly as Admiral games in KHL but I was wrong. There were about 20 thousand fans in the stands and it was very quiet. No one was chanting or beating the drum. You could hear the players and coaches yell. As for the game itself, even though Dynamo was objectively stronger, our boys still did their best to turn it around in their favor. Unfortunately, Taifun lost the game 6-2 but it still piqued my interest in the team. I began following their games from on TV and from the stands. I have been regularly going to the games for two seasons now.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been to a single away game of my team, even though the club administration invited fans to go to Sakhalin in the end of the 2020-21 season. But I wasn’t able to because of my studies. I really hope that next season I’m going to be able to travel with the team at least to Khabarovsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. How do I follow away games? Since Taifun plays in the Western Conference, most of their games take place when it’s nighttime in Vladivostok so I have to watch the game the following day. As for the weekend games, I always tune in for the puckdrop because the time is rather convenient. Sometimes I can watch Friday games because I have a chance to sleep in the following morning.
Since this season our junior club became the top team of the city, many Admiral fans began going to Taifun games. That’s how our fan-sector came to be. There are fans in team merchandise and with a drum. We do our best to chant and support the boys the best we can, pushing them towards the win. That where the main rule of our fan-sector stems from – always support your team no matter the circumstances, stay positive and never give up, so the boys would know that we love them regardless of anything. There are other traditions. For instance, after every goal Taifun scores one of the fans rings a ships bell and we give each other high fives or fist pump each other. Actually, here’s what I want to say – hockey games is a great place to find new friends and like-minded people. We have become so close with some of the fans that we gladly meet outside of hockey arena as well.
I have a handful of memorable games every season. I believe, the most memorable game for me was the home game against SKA-1946 [St. Petersburg] because Taifun beat them for the first time in five years. It was very exciting that they won on home ice. Incidentally, they got another win on the road that year. What emotions did I feel at the time? I was intense right until the final buzzer because it was just a 1-goal game. In hockey you can tie the game in the final second and turn it around, so everyone was pretty tense up till the final buzzer. Besides, SKA-1946 is a very skilled team. Fortunately, our goaltender Dmitry Sharov stayed focused right till the end and didn’t let St. Petersburg let Taifun fans down.
Everything for hockey
I believe, every fan had to make sacrifices for hockey. I often miss family events because of hockey. It’s great that my relatives are very understanding about my interests. Actually, they like the sport as well. Sometimes I have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep if it’s a late game. All in all, I do my best to plan my day the way I would be able to do get everything done. But if I face a choice between hockey or something else, most often I choose the former. I just want to say that hockey heavily affects a life of a true fan. Hockey is a love from first sight and forever.