My friend and I enjoyed an awesome weekend when we were given free tickets to watch the Heritage Classic today from the Vancouver Public Library. As frequent volunteers at the library’s Teen Advisory Group programme, we were one of the ten people who got selected to go to the game. It was special day as not only was this match by first ever Canucks game, but an ‘outdoor’ game as well.
It was not exactly an outdoor game, since they closed the roof because surprise surprise, it was raining in Vancouver again. Tegan and Sara performed to kick off the game, but it was a shame that “Everything is Awesome” was left out of their setlist. The Canadian Women’s Hockey Team was also present at the pre-game ceremony as well.
The Canucks energised the crowd with a quick start when Jason Garrison scored a power play goal, but Vancouver just could not keep up when the Senators got on the board, even with a 2-0 lead, and the atmosphere died in the second and third periods. Vancouver’s offensive woes continued with only four goals scored in their last three. Overall, I thought the outdoor game experience paled in comparison to other Heritage Classics organised by the NHL, and it was not even because BC Place closed its roof. The atmosphere of the crowd felt off from the beginning, and it only went downhill when the Canucks started struggling.
The fans at BC Place gave Eddie Lack a hard time too, chanting ‘We Want Lu’ when the Canucks started struggling. It was a controversial decision for Coach Torts to bench Luongo, but I thought he made a few key stops despite coughing up three goals. It was not Lack’s fault that he was named the starter, and I thought that game will only demoralise the Canucks in the long run. At the very least, everyone who attended the game each received a Tim Hortons cushion complete with hockey cards inside them.
Despite the loss, I thought my first Canucks game was still a great experience, and it was also fun to be a part of a crowd wave that lasted for over five minutes. Evidently the game wasn’t as entertaining as the Pens and Hawks tilt last night, and I hope that I will be able to attend an outdoor match with snow in the future.
Above Featured Photo: Tim Hortons cushions line the seats of BC Place prior to puck drop at the 2014 NHL Heritage Classic (Erin Jang)