Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
A winter storm can sure disrupt a routine Friday, but for local hockey fans there's nothing winter can do to peel attention away from Olympic hockey.
Friday's winter storm led to numerous facility closures and postponed events. But despite that, a number of sports bars still became a popular place for local fans to gather to see team Canada's 1-0 semifinal victory over the United States.
“It’s awesome. You come in and everybody is in a great mood and having a good time,” said Shooters Tavern bartender Tanya Sargent. “It was an intense game all the way through and this is the best job. Today is the type of day you want to work.
“You can’t help but get goosebumps and feel patriotic .... Everybody's singing and that doesn’t happen every day, so when it does you have to enjoy it.”
“We had a blizzard and that couldn’t stop us from coming here and supporting the team as a community,” said Israel Ruiz, who was one of many patrons watching the game at the Memorial Avenue bar.
Canada went ahead 1-0 early in the second period, with forward Jamie Benn registering the contest's only goal and goaltender Carey Price stood tall to save every American shot.
Some fans admitted memories of the comeback by the Canadian women’s team one day prior created some anxiety, but said the lack of pressure from the Americans never made it feel like the lead was going to evaporate.
It was celebration time in the bar after the clock hit zeroes.
Patrons, who were completely decked out in red and white with patriotic gear, joined together to sing a rousing rendition of the national anthem.
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“To see history in the making with your best friends is one of the best feelings in the world,” said one fan.
Added Ruiz added “We’re so proud of our country and our team.”
The scheduled 7 a.m. start for Sunday’s gold medal final between Canada and Sweden means that many of the fans are going to have to make alternate arrangements.
The city has said they will not make amendments to the by-law, so establishments will not be able to serve alcohol. Owners at Shooters say they will not open until 11 a.m.