I’ve lived in this city for (going on) three years, now. I’ve seen inside that big silver ball on the harbour called Science World, I’ve been wafted by the pressurized doors of BC Place twice, I’ve ridden on (possibly) every single car of the Skytrain, been on Grouse, taken ferries, creek taxis, and explored a large enough chunk of the land mass of Vancouver that I could draw you a map with my eyes closed. However, until yesterday, I hadn’t stepped inside the infamous GM Place, home of the Vancouver Canucks. This may have something to do with my inherent cheapness, not willing to pay eighty dollars to sit in that arena for a regular season game. It could be that I’ve never felt inclined to attend one of those free events where hoards gather to watch such exciting events as the Olympic Hockey game, or the 2010 announcement — if that’s even where they were? Or perhaps, it’s that I’ve never had precious tickets to a concert big enough to fill an NHL arena.
Somehow, by chance of some professional networking and being in the right place at the right time, I managed to score a few tickets to the Sea to Sky Hockey Challenge.
The game itself was okay. Mix some Harlem Globetrotter style antics with some usetabees and some neverweres of hockey (no offence intended, of course) and you have a high scoring game where the colour-calling ref was the center of the action. What caught me as vaguely interesting — at least in terms of that (as of this coming week) I am beginning the process of really truly escaping this city — I finally got mixed into a room with all the flavours of Vancouver I hadn’t really mixed with until this weekend. I mean, the mayor was the goalie, there were radio announcers on the ice, the weatherman from Global was sitting a few rows back drinking beer, and a generous mixture of local “names” made appearances on and off the ice. (And Ryan might appreciate that the Hanson Brothers, from “Slap Shot” were playing, too — in character!) Red Deer-ites might even find it mildly amusing that hometown-boy, former Z99 announcer, Jeff Rechner, played goal and only let in a half dozen shots. In a way, it was a sort of who’s who in Vancouver, mixing it up casual-like in a bit of hockey entertainment.
And somehow we scored tickets. It was a kind of last-huh-zah (!) to Vancouver, I guess. Odd how that works.