On January 2nd, 2009 I rang in the new year (sort of) with my second of two (if I’m not mistaken) World Junior hockey games. The first contest had taken place at the AAA rink in the Ottawa Civic Centre on New Year’s Eve but this one was at the Big House out in Kanata, where the NHL’s Ottawa Senators play. As I can see from the stub this game was a lot pricier too, coming in at $100 rather than $15, but one thing both tickets had in common is they came courtesy of my friend Huss, who was rarely shy about handing out free hockey tickets.
As far back as I can remember watching the World Junior tournament has been a family tradition. Heck, outside of the Olympics and the Stanley Cup finals it’s the only hockey my mother will bother to watch. I certainly agree that the nationalistic fervour that goes along with watching the young NHL hopefuls trying their best to show the world their hockey chops really amps up the excitement, and so I was especially appreciative that Huss gave me a(nother) chance to take in a World Junior game in real life.
It’s no wonder these tickets were more expensive. This was a ticket to one of the quarter-final games after all, and the teams vying for a shot at gold in this case were Slovakia and Team USA. They were good seats too. The 200 level is my favourite place to watch a game from in that arena. It’s not too close to the action that you can’t follow the plays and not so far away that you can’t hear the players yelling at each other.
And so the young upstart whipper-snappers whipped and snapped at each other for the regulated sixty minutes and an exciting match it was too! In a surprising upset (I guess) the Americans fell behind the European team halfway into the first period and stayed there, battling from behind for the entire game before the Americans finally lost the match 5-3. And in another exciting turn of events, I believe Huss and I used his super-awesome private parking pass to circumvent the insane parking situation that inevitably follows games out there at the Enormodome and we cruised out of the parking lot like a couple of VIP’s with Don Cherry’s on top.
Thanks Huss, and go Canada!