There are a number of games I have attended that I will never forget. If not for everything that happened on the ice, but for atmosphere surrounding it or the importance of it historically. I wasn’t around for 1972, and watched 1987 on TV, ditto the 2002 and 2010 Olympics.
I have been fortunate enough to attend some pretty historic games in Ottawa, including the 67’s winning the Memorial Cup on home ice in overtime in 1999.
But for impact, drama and sheer exhilaration, the greatest game I have ever attended is the Canada-Russia semi-final match at the 2009 World Junior Championship here in Ottawa. That game had everything, but is most remembered for Jordan Eberle’s goal in the dying seconds to tie the game. I have never heard or felt sudden electricity in a building like that before, as the realization that the home country might have to settle for a chance at a bronze medal was instantly replaced by jubilation and euphoria when Eberle’s backhander found the back of the net and the red light went on.
I don’t remember everything that led up to that goal, but the key icing by Russia to set up the offensive zone faceoff that led to the tying goal was an error that will be forever remembered.
Of course Canada went on to beat Erik Karlsson and Team Sweden in the gold medal game, but after the excitement of the semi-final, that game paled in comparison.
Although I had recorded the game on DVR, I never watched it, and it was eventually deleted. Well, tomorrow I, and you, will get the chance to relive the highs and lows of that January night as TSN is replaying the game as part of its TEAM Canada Rewind series, essentially a respite from the lockout. I look forward to the chance to see what millions saw on TV that night, and although the emotion of the greatest game I have ever seen can not possibly be duplicated, the memories it brings back will more than make it worth watching!