Monday, May 26, 2008

IIHF World Championship Part 3

This was perhaps my best day as a hockey fan, and in life period. I used the money I won from the hockey pool to buy a ticket for the quarterfinal game. I went with dad. I knew it would be a Canada game, which is why I was willing to dish out good money for it. I was hoping they would get a harder opponent, but Norway proved to be more of a challenge then I expected. Well only for half the game. Canada jumped to an early 1-0 lead only 15 seconds in when Danny Heatley scored. But things became interesting when Norway tied it 1-1. Canada went ahead, but once again Norway tied it 2-2. It wasn't until the very end of a 5 on 3 that Canada really pulled ahead. They won 8-2. It was alot of fun standing up and yelling at the top of my lungs everytime Canada scored. I was decked out in my vintage '76 Team Canada, a Canada top hat, a Canadian flag on my back like a cape, and a large Canada flag on a pole to wave around. It was funny because after Canada goals, people with cameras would take videos and pictures of the crowd going crazy. And some would just aim their cameras and take pictures of me, so I had to act extra crazy. The crowd was fairly small and quite at the start, mostly because 4:30 is a horrible start time. But by 5:00 the building was full and rocking. It was quite the atmosphere. After the game the cheering, flag waving, and high fives were taking place right, left, and center. And of course the autograph hunting began.
I met Dave there since we were going to the Finland-USA game (more on that later). Team Norway came out after about 20 minutes of waiting. The Canadian fans gave them a very warm reception. And the players were very generous, giving away sticks, a couple pairs of skates, and other gear. They took the time to have pictures and sign autographs for everyone. It was a very nice gesture from a high class team.
Canada did what they did their previous games. They left via team bus which pulled right into the Metro Center. Like the previous game, we were lucky enough to see a couple Canada players coming out of a different exit. We got pictures and autographs from Cam Ward, Dan Hamhuis, and Jason Chimera. There weren't nearly as many people around, and it was very quite. The players obviously did not want to attract much attention, and seemed very serious. We also saw Al McInnis, but he was going to the Finland-USA game and didn't sign any autographs. Dad was able to get one from him a few minutes earlier though.

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