After the 2 extraordinary hockey games on New Year’s Eve (the Canucks storming back to beat the Blues in overtime and the Canadian Juniors staging a dramatic comeback to beat the American Juniors in the shoot-out), I had extremely high hopes for yesterday’s hockey double dip. It was unrealistic to expect the same level of drama and excitement from both games, but I was at least hopeful for 2 wins. Little did I know of the emotional roller coaster that I was about to ride!
Now these games certainly did not have life-or-death consequences, but when you’re a self-proclaimed Ultimate Canucks Fan, you take these things seriously enough.
As an aside and speaking of serious, a few of my friends thought I was serious on Monday, when I tweeted and put on Facebook the following update: “Trying to convince my lovely wife to send Sean on the Canada Line by himself tomorrow for the Canucks game. So far, no go.” I thought it was obvious that I was joking, but some of my friends apparently don’t find me very funny. I received a few replies via Twitter, Facebook and text message ranging from “I’m siding with Gail” to “Are you serious?” to “Got a screw loose?” My answers to those questions: “As per usual”, “No I’m not” and “Likely, yes.”
Anyway, back to the roller coaster. As the work day ended, I put a new update up, hardly concealing my excitement for the 2 hockey games: “Trying not to sound spoiled or ungrateful here, but I’m more excited about the game I’m PVRing (World Juniors) than the game I’m going to see live with Sean (Canucks). I guess the chance for a gold medal and global supremacy can do that to you.”
I boarded the Canada Line in Yaletown (to head back to Richmond) at 5:20pm and quickly struck up a hockey conversation with a fellow passenger. As we both checked our phones for updates, we were elated to see that Canada has scored first. HAPPY! During the 20-minute ride, Canada went from up 1-0 to down 2-1 (SAD!) to tied at 2 going into the 1st intermission (HAPPY!).
Gail brought Sean to the Lansdowne station at 5:50pm and I said a quick hello and good-bye to Gail, Jake, and Kayla. Sean and I boarded the Canada Line and headed back downtown. Trying to bring closure to my poor attempt at humour from the day before, I posted: “Sean is on the Canada Line on his way to the Canucks’ game. For the record, I am standing right beside him.”
As we got off the train downtown, the score was now 3-3 heading into the 2nd intermission. Still HAPPY! After a quick sushi dinner (surprise surprise) we made our way to GM Place and got in at 6:50pm. We had to make our way through the hordes of people gathered in the concourse watching the Junior game on tv. The score was now 4-3 USA. SAD!
We made a quick pit stop in the washroom, and upon coming out we learned it was now 5-3 USA. VERY SAD! Needless to say, all of the Canucks fans watching were in a sour mood.
The Canucks game started per usual at 7:07pm, and Sean and I noticed right away that the arena looked more empty that usual. We concluded that there must have been around 2,000 people still watching the Junior game in the concourses. It was a surreal experience…the crowd was very quiet for the slow start to the Canucks game, yet we could hear people “ooohhhing” and “aaahhhing” from the bars and concourses in GM Place.
Sure enough, we heard a loud cheer at 7:11pm when Canada scored to pull within a goal. HAPPY! Then, just 2 minutes later, more cheering, as the Canadians tied the game at 5. EXTREMELY HAPPY! The Juniors then went into a 20-minute intermission before overtime.
Happiness turned into sadness as the Columbus Blue Jackets scored 2 quick goals on Luongo just 5 minutes into the game, forcing people’s attention to the live game in front of them. SAD! The Canucks returned the favour, putting 2 quick goals behind Mason and then going ahead for good before the 1st period ended. HAPPY!
Just as the Canucks’ 1st period was ending, overtime for the Juniors was starting. Sean and I tried to catch glimpses of the Junior game on the TVs in the GM Place bars, but they were too far away. Suddenly at 7:38pm, Sean turned to me just as we heard a collective groan from those in the fringes: “I think USA just scored.” EXTREME SADNESS! With 2 minutes left in the Canucks’ 1st period, hundreds of people flooded in to take their seats (opposite of what usually happens with 2 minutes left in a period).
Then, I posted my last update: Only a Canuck win will slightly off-set my disappointment in Canada’s loss. A lot of goals in this game too!”
Our beloved Canucks scored 6 minutes into the 2nd period, making it 4-2. HAPPY! Then, the Blue Jackets scored just 17 seconds later to cut the deficit to 4-3. Not really SADNESS, but a bit of WORRY. However, the Canucks soon remembered they were playing Columbus and scored another 2 goals to head into the 2nd intermission up 6-3. HAPPY! HAPPIER!
The Canucks ended up winning the game 7-3, making Sean and me very HAPPY! Upon walking past the YMO on our way back to the car, I decided to leave my computer at work, effectively signaling no more work for the evening. HAPPY! And we made it home in quick time, forgoing late night sushi (SAD!), but saving money in the process (VERY HAPPY!).
As you can see, the 2 hockey games toyed with my emotions and challenged my ability to stay sane. I guess that comes with the territory of being a true hockey fan.
I shudder to think of what the Winter Olympics are going to do to me! HAPPY…I hope!