Hockey school

24 05 2011

Everything I needed to know about tonight’s Vancouver Canucks’ game, I learned from car horns.

All day the city – the entire province – as been on edge. At 6 p.m. the Canucks would face off for the chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 17 years, and only the third time in franchise history. Beat the San Jose Sharks in Game Five of their conference final and their next game would be in the opener of the championship series.

The anticipation and excitement have been palpable all day. It’s all anyone talked about on the radio, around the water cooler. Rush hour started early as people raced home in time for the game.

But the sun was out and with rain in the weather forecast for the next few days, I needed to ride.

Cue the car horns. The cacophony sounded as I climbed out of New West, accompanied by a chorus of whoops and hollers from open windows overlooking the street.

From then on, though, silence.

A quick climb up Burnaby Mountain would get me home in time for the third period. A bonus was the dearth of traffic because everyone was home, or at the pub, watching the big game.

The pull-out where the mountain bike shuttlers gather would normally be jammed with cars; tonight it's deserted.

As I pulled up to the condo, I knew the Canucks had one goal, but how many had the Sharks scored? Were the Canucks clinging to a slim lead or getting swamped by a determined underdog seeking to extend their season at least a couple more days?

Oh crap, a train delays my return home.

When I got upstairs and turned on the TV, the Canucks were indeed behind, 2-1. They tied it with 14 seconds left. And now, as I write this, they are preparing to start the second overtime period.

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