Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Western Conference Champions

If you know Vancouver, you'll know that hockey is big. This city goes absolutely crazy for hockey. When there's a playoff game on, you might as well choose that time for your joy rides, cruising, or grocery shopping. That's when the roads are clear and almost everyone is either at the game or somewhere watching the game.

Now I must admit that I'm not a true fan because I don't really follow it during the regular season, but come playoffs time, I'll watch every game the Canucks play and even the rest of the games in the league. Yes, a bandwaggoner. (eek). I paid $300 for playoff tickets a couple years ago to sit in the lower bowl, second row, right behind the camera man in plain view of the goalie's net. Same as what I paid for Olympics closing ceremony tickets. (And I don't regret going to either). The atmosphere and energy in the arena was through the roof. Absolutely amazing.

The last time we made it to the finals was in 1994. I was in seventh grade. To be honest, I only semi knew it was a big deal back then because my brother (who was in grade five) followed it and the boy I was crushing on followed it. Haha. I was twelve years old. I remember my brother making my parents drive him to the mall so we can search all over to buy a white towel. And we watched game 7 at home waving our one white towel in front of the TV. And then we heard about the riot when we lost that game. At that age, I knew a riot wasn't a good thing... but I didn't really know how bad.

The Canucks were leading 3-1 in this semi-final series. If they win the next game, they win the Western Conference and advance to the finals for the Stanley Cup. I wanted to watch them win it. And if they do, I want to be there to cheer.

I was tired after work but had a bit of excitement in me still to watch the game. I quickly changed into my Canucks gear, splashed some cold water on my face and tied up my messy hair and off I went to a pub to meet my friends. I felt like I just rolled out of a bed after a restless night.

But, once I got to the pub, you could feel the anxiousness of everyone there. We tried out Toby's on Commercial Drive.

It's mandatory for a game to eat greasy, bad food. And to guzzle beer.

We started off with a one goal lead. Then the San Jose Sharks tied it up. I saw the third goal coming ... and the Sharks took over the lead to make the game 2-1. The happy energy of the pub fell. I'm sure there was a whole lot of "Oh well, we still have the next game" thoughts going through people's heads. With one minute to go in the third period, Canucks pulled their goalie. The last minute is always so intense...

And with thirteen seconds to go, Kesler (with what seemed like a pretty bad injury from earlier on in the game) scored the tying goal!!!!! The noise erupted from the pub. On to OVERTIME.

Friends watching at home texted that they'd come join us at the pub.

They could very well be here only for a minute. As soon as someone scores, the game is over. They ordered a pitcher of beer anyway. And good to enjoy it all because overtime went on to second overtime.

By then, the game as gone on for four hours.

I can't even remember the last moment... it was a blur... Boom Boom Bieksa scored the winning goal in second overtime and made the Canucks the CHAMPIONS OF THE WESTERN CONFERENCE!!

Cheers broke out through the pub. Everyone hugged and high five each other. It was one super joyous moment.

My fatigue came rushing back to me when everyone started leaving the pub. But, a part of me wanted to see the celebrations of this victory in downtown. Party central. I had my reservations. I'm tired... do I really want to be amongst the chaotic crowds? Do I really want to be with the drunks? Ugh. Don't know what convinced me though, probably mostly my curiosity, I drove my friends and I down to Cambie St. and hopped on the skytrain down to City Center.

The party was definitely happenin' on Granville St. In Vancouver, since the Olympics, Granville St. has been the center of all celebrations and street parties. The street is now pedestrian only. Leaving a pretty wide street for lots of room for partying. We walked up and down just soaking in the scene. Drums and musicians. People hoisting each other up. Singing and cheering. A million cameras. A thousand signs. A flood of people all in their Canucks gear. We bumped into a whole bunch of other friends. Surprisingly, it was super civil. Everyone was just having a good time. No crazy drunks and fights or pushing and shoving.

This kid was jumping and cheering with his sign all by himself.

Everyone was high fiving everyone and all I could think at that moment was, it's okay. I got a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car.  Hah.

The news said the celebrations rivaled that of the Olympics. Hmm, not quite. The gold game of the Olympics was still out of this world. But...

(Long enough post? )

Wait till we win the Stanley Cup.

No comments:

Post a Comment