Pregame festivities Saturday night included a flyover by Air Force jets and two parachuters embarking on Falcon Stadium through the air, the latter holding the game puck. Soon thereafter, geography and uniform gave "The Star-Spangled Banner" a deeper meaning, with hundreds of cadets standing at attention.
And then it was game on for the NHL's 11th Stadium Series event, and the league's 31st outdoor game overall in celebration of hockey's deepest roots.
No previous NHL outdoor game had taken the breath away from players as much as this one. This one was played at a record elevation of 6,621 feet, smashing the previous high mark of 5,280 feet set in 2016 at Coors Field.