Police were called to a Tampa residence Wednesday evening after neighbors heard loud noises, including cries of “Shoot! Shoot!”
Fortunately for all concerned, it turned out to be just Tampa Bay Lightning fans yelling for their team to take a shot on net.
The incident occurred during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, in which the Lightning are squaring off against the Dallas Stars in Edmonton. According to reports, Devon Garnett and a pair of unidentified friends were watching the game when Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman handled the puck in the Lightning’s offensive zone, when they alarmed some people living next door.
"I wanted Hedman to shoot the puck, so I screamed, 'Shoot! Shoot!'" said Garnett (via WFLA).
Minutes later, deputies with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office turned up saying they had received a call regarding a potential domestic disturbance.
"So they came to the door and thought there were guns in the house," said Garnett, 26 (via the Tampa Bay Times). "We're like, 'Nope, we're just screaming for Steven Stamkos.'"
Plenty of Lightning fans were excited about Stamkos, the longtime captain of the Lightning who made his first appearance since he underwent core muscle surgery in March. The 12th-year center, a six-time all-star, scored on his first and only shot before leaving the game early with an injury. Hedman, a two-time all-star and the 2018 Norris Trophy winner, led all players with three points on a goal and two assists.
Stamkos’s time on the ice may have been brief, but his impact was great as he inspired his squad to a 5-2 win that gave the Lightning a 2-1 edge in the series. “Unexpected, but just the lift he gave us a) being able to dress and play and b) scoring, I don’t think the guys were going to be denied,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said of Stamkos.
Tampa Bay is looking for its first Stanley Cup since 2004 and the second since it began play in 1992. Dallas, which began play in the 1967, is also aiming for its second championship, which would be its first since 1999.
Game 4 is Friday night.
With two more wins, the Lightning would give Tampa just its third championship in one of the major sports leagues, including a Buccaneers' Super Bowl win in 2002. Yet not everyone in the city has caught Lightning fever, at least not to the degree it has gripped Garnett and his friends
"Who would call the cops? Did they not know the Lightning were playing?" he wondered.
"Four deputies responded and discovered there were no domestic problems at the apartment in question," a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesperson said in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. "It was a roommate screaming at the TV in regards to a Lightning game."
Once apprised of the actual cause for all the commotion, the deputies “completely understood and just laughed it off,” said Garnett. He also said that for future finals games, he would make sure to yell, “Shoot the puck!”