Tonight was game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final. I wish you all could be in Vancouver right now. The excitement that this city has for hockey is unbelievable. Even if you're not a hockey fan, you likely would be if you caught only a fraction of the passion the people in this city have for the Canucks.
We decided that it was time to venture downtown to watch game 2 with thousands of other hockey fans. Mike still has great memories of watching the Olympic Men's hockey gold medal game from last year, and we wanted to give the girls something to remember as well.
Well. They aren't soon to forget tonight, that's for sure.
We took the skytrain downtown filled with crazy crowded throngs of Canucks fans. We ended up fighting through the crowds and ended up at the big screen at Robson and Granville with a few thousand other fans. We secured a spot near the fence and thought we had it made!
We even got to see the Stanley Cup a few times!
The cops and security guards had their hands full. They only let a limited number of people into the fenced area in order to control the crowds. Great in theory. Doesn't work out so great when thousands of other fans figure out how to dismantle the fencing and storm the area. The cops were limited in number. They seemed to give up trying to keep people from charging in. The one cop I spoke to said he had no idea how he was supposed to be able to control this with so few reinforcements. As the game went on, more and more fences were dismantled and the crowd was WAY over capacity.
At first, that didn't stop us from having a great time people watching, and hockey watching...
There were a bunch of young fans up on a roof-top nearby entertaining the crowd during commercial breaks. It didn't take long and a cop was up top clearing the roof off. The guys went off to thunderous cheers from the crowd.
Hannah did what Hannah does best - finding the oddest places and times to get into a book.
When we were walking down Granville to find our spot, we stopped in at the CBC booth and picked up some "GO CANUCKS GO" posters. One of the fence-busting renegades asked us where we got our poster, and we told him. He asked if he could buy one for 5 bucks. I said no, they have great sentimental value. Mike chirped in with a quick "I'll take 5 bucks". They made their transaction and I told the guy he was crazy. 10 minutes later Mike offered the guy his 5 bucks back if he'd quit smoking his joint. He agreed and the 5 dollar bill changed hands yet again.
The flags below kind of sum up some of the evening... one Canucks flag, one British Columbia flag, and one Canadian flag with a maple leaf made out of cannabis leaves. Only in BC. Seriously. The amount of weed smoked in the viewing area tonight was insane - even with a big police presence. You know you're in BC when there is more weed being smoked than tobacco at outdoor events.
The crowd erupting just after Daniel Sedin's game tying goal in the third period.
Shortly before the overtime period began is when things started going a little crazy. With the thousands of extra people that made their way in, it was really hard for the cops to control things. In a short amount of time, we went from a peaceful hockey game to intoxicated idiots climbing antennas to dangerous heights being egged on by the crowd. That turned into a legion of more cops making their way through the crowd. Before we knew it, throngs of other people started vigorously rocking the fencing near us to where it was almost tipping over. That's when we knew we had to get our girls out of there. We packed up our stuff in record time and thought we'd see if we could make it to the CBC screen on Hamilton.
We had barely started walking when the cheer erupted and we knew the game was over and the Canucks had won. We started walking to the skytrain station and were entertained by the ecstatic fans on the street. The girls were thrilled with all of the fist pumps and high-fives they shared with total strangers. It was magic to share the victory with the estimated 80,000 people downtown, and it made our quick escape experience fade just a little.
What a relief to get on the train! All the mayhem had tuckered Sasha right out!
We celebrated the huge win and debriefed over blizzards at Dairy Queen.
Our memory making game? Oh yes, it was memorable. Maybe not for the reasons we thought it would be, but memorable none the less. I don't think the girls will ever forget it!