It started out as a couple of drunken text messages on New Years day. Did you see the game tonight? yes, I did. Want to go to the next one? Yes i do? Do you? Lets get tickets!!!!!! The game we targeted was the Semi-final game between Canada and Russia on Saturday night.
This lead to my brother making a 4 hour drive from the cottage in Muskoka to Ottawa, and myself flying on Porter Air from the Toronto Island Airport to Ottawa on a Saturday Afternoon . Needless to say we were excited to make it to the nations capital, and it was for reasons of hockey.
We walked into Scotiabank Place, first as Canadians, and Secondly as Toronto Maple Leaf fans. We were fired up to see an amazing game which we travelled hundreds of kilometres to see. We entered an arena full of Senators fans, a bunch of leaf fans who gave us thumbs up (we both wore Maple Leaf Toques throughout the game), and various other street people (habs fans).
The game was a back and forth battle, that was highlighted by the Russian's speed, back checking, and will to keep coming back. Every time we thought Canada put them down a goal, they came back almost instantly. The crowd was loud and proud for Ottawa standards, though the people behind me didn't like it when I stood up a couple of Canadian breakaways (always do this at ACC and everyone else stands) .
The game came down to 2 plays, the Russian defenceman who shot the puck and iced it with about 20 seconds left. Then the face-off after, which led to a scrum, and which John Tavares threw the puck towards the net which Jordan Eberle then put in the top shelf with 5 seconds left.
This moment will always stick out in my mind, I jumped out of my seat yelling, screaming, embracing everyone around me (even fans of other NHL teams), jumping up and down in disbelief. It was one of those truly Canadian moments which those of us in the building, and watching on TSN will remember for the rest of our lives . The goal was in a scramble, not as pretty as the Gretzky-Lemieux Pass of 1987, or the Jonathan Toews shootout show against the Americans, it was more like the 1972 Henderson goal than any goal in recent memory. Being their to witness it was icing on the cake.
Once the Overtime started, and went with a few decent chances. The Canadians got looser as the 10 minutes wore on, and they had more quality chances than The Russians. Going into the shootout, the crowd was confident, as Canada had the snipers ready to take action, and they didn't dissapoint.
After watching Canada win gold tonight, my expensive trip was validated. Though 5 seconds difference could have made my trip not worthwhile. I was glad to have witnessed a classic game, rather than the antics of the Swedes tonight. All in all, I am happy that Canada has won 5 in a row.
Here is a youtube video I put together of the anthem after the game. Great patriotic stuff!