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Landeskog takes off at Air Force Academy for Avalanche game against Kings
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Gabriel Landeskog
Landeskog asks."I
Matt Pulver
Brian McKay
Art Dulin
Jay Silveria



the Rocky Mountains

Falcon Stadium
Fairchild Hall
Interstate 25
the Rampart Range

Los Angeles Kings
Washington Capitals
Colorado Springs
the United States

the 2020 Stadium Series
NHL Stadium Series
the Stadium Series
The Cup

Positivity     41.00%   
   Negativity   59.00%
The New York Times
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Welcome to, the official site of the National Hockey LeagueBienvenue à , le site officiel de la Ligue nationale de hockeyДобро пожаловать на, официальный сайт Национальной хоккейной лигиTervetuloa NHL:n viralliselle nettisivustolle NHL.comiinVälkommen till, NHL:s officiella web-sidaVítejte na, oficiálních stránkách National Hockey LeagueVitajte na, oficiálnych stránkach National Hockey LeagueWillkommen auf, der offiziellen Seite der National Hockey LeagueBienvenido a, el sitio oficial de la National Hockey LeagueAhead of the 2020 Stadium Series game between the Colorado Avalanche and LA Kings, Avs star Gabriel Landeskog becomes a cadet for a dayAIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. A single-seat, twin-engine stealth fighter plane capable of going twice the speed of sound?"Is it going to make me nauseous?" Landeskog asks."I don't know," says Matt Pulver, a cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the captain of the Air Force men's hockey team.It's Jan. 13, and Landeskog is pretending to be a cadet for a day ahead of the 2020 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series between the Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings at Falcon Stadium on Feb. 15 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVAS2).He's wearing a standard-issue green flight suit, complete with a nametag and the academy insignia, and sitting in Classroom 2H4 at Fairchild Hall, a main academic building.Of course, he will be flying in a simulator, not the real thing. At that moment, he could imagine what it would be like for a pilot in the flyover on game day, looking down at thousands of fans in the stadium on the east side of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains.By the end of the afternoon -- after sitting in the cockpit of a real plane, trying the simulator, skating with the hockey team and leaping from a 10-meter platform into a pool as if he were going through water survival training -- he could imagine what it would be like to be a cadet.It will make the game that more meaningful.This won't be just another regular-season game. This will be the second outdoor game at a military academy, after the 2018 NHL Stadium Series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals at the U.S. Naval Academy's Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.This will be a special event at a special place with special people."I'm super excited to come back," Landeskog says.* * * * *After practicing with the Avalanche in the morning, Landeskog drives down I-25 to Colorado Springs, about 80 miles south of Denver. They learn the basics and take up to 14 flights in a T-53, a two-seat, single-propeller plane with a six-cylinder engine, hoping to go to pilot training after graduation."We're going to start with this before we pop them into jet aircraft with ejection seats," says Maj. Art Dulin, an instructor pilot who became an Avalanche fan while attending the academy from 2000-04. They'd fly for about 90 minutes to practice maneuvers.Alas, Landeskog is not an actual cadet, which is clear the moment he emerges in his flight suit."Ready to rock," he says, looking cool with his collar popped up."We're going to do this, though," Dulin says, putting Landeskog's collar down so he wears the uniform properly. It's easy once you've done it but learning to do that is a challenge."First, Landeskog looks around at the controls of the F-22."What about all these buttons here?" he asks."You don't have to worry about any of those," McKay says. "This is scary [stuff], pardon my language.""But it's fun," McKay says."It is fun."Landeskog learns cadets usually fly in the simulator for about 50 minutes at a time."Fifty?" he asks."Yeah," McKay says. McKay consoles him, explaining it usually takes cadets 40 tries over four flights to make their first landing in a T-53."Wow," Landeskog says. Despite the challenge of finding players who fit the criteria -- U.S. citizens who can handle the demands of being a cadet on top of hockey and make a military commitment of at least five years -- the Falcons have made the NCAA tournament seven times in the past 13 seasons and the Elite Eight three times."They're doing the military training, they're doing a rigorous world-class academic program and then they're competing at the Division I level," says Lt. Gen. But just like that, he runs and jumps, arms and legs flailing, and crashes into the water.He survives."I mean, I first get up there, and it looks really high," Landeskog says. He will remember this experience, especially when playing for the Avalanche against the Kings at Falcon Stadium, with Silveria, McKay, Dulin, Pulver and so many others in the crowd."I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be a cadet for a day," Landeskog says.

As said here by Nicholas J. Cotsonika