In the Eye of the Storm
My Bruins/Wings Game 5 Experience From Hurricane O’Reillys
By: Joe Marraccino (@joecherry89)
As residents of Boston and the metro-Boston area, we are very lucky to have plenty of options when it comes to finding a bar or a pub to watch a sporting event. This is especially true around the Garden.
Right off of Causeway Street lies Canal Street. It is home to five such bars. They include Sullivan’s Tap, The Fours, Boston Beer Works, The Sports Grille, and Hurricane O’Reillys. Having been to all five, you can get a sense of which bar provides the best atmosphere during a Bruins game. For game five between the Bruins and Red Wings this past Saturday, I had planned to meet a friend who is not much of a hockey fan. When she gave me the option of choosing the bar, I chose Hurricane O’Reillys because in part I had been there to watch the Bruins game four OT victory (the superstition in me) and also because I had found the atmosphere here to be the best out of all five bars. It turned out to be a decision I would not regret.
I arrived to Hurricanes around 2:30pm. It was absolutely packed. I was fortunate enough to get a tiny standing room spot on the side of the bar amongst the crowd sporting their Black and Gold attire. With TV’s in every direction, it was a great spot since we were close to the bar and could refuel on beer quickly if need be. When my friend Lauren showed up, since she was not a big hockey fan, I decided it would be a good gesture, and good karma, to bring down my Bergeron jersey for her to wear during the game. If I may add, it looked damn good on her too. Anyway as we were waiting for puck drop, the bar blares the Bruins goal horn to pump the crowd up about twenty minutes before the start of the game. In the meantime, me and my friend decide it’s a good idea to grab a couple of beers and make some small talk to occupy the gap in time. And then, finally, after the bar pipes in the sound of the NBC broadcast to play Rene Rancourt’s singing of the anthem, a good chunk of the crowd sings along, followed by a solid round of applause. After waiting almost an hour, it is finally game time….
For the first few minutes, Hurricanes is a little quiet with the occasional “oooohs” and “ahhhs” until Loui Eriksson opens the scoring on the power play. The first loud roar, followed by the blaring of the Bruins horn, Zombie Nation playing in the background, finished off by the WOO of the crowd. The Bruins have the first goal of game five early in the first period, injecting some life into the bar. The rest of the first period has the occasional noise anytime the Bruins come close or Tuukka Rask makes a save. The end of the first period arrives to applause and cheers from the crowd as the Bruins take a 1-0 lead into the second. In between periods, we refuel on beers and food to gear ourselves up for the next twenty minutes in this crucial game.
The second period features the occasional “oooh” and “aaah” from the crowd as all eyes are on the many TVs that surround the packed bar. Not much is happening for the first fourteen minutes or so until the Red Wings go on the power play. Before the power play, a TV timeout is taken, which is my green light cue to use the bathroom. The line is a little bit long, but thankfully there is a TV right there to keep an eye on the action. Just as I finish up, a collective groan comes from the bar. Datsyuk has scored and the game is tied. I figure this was poor timing on my part and was subsequently blamed by my friend that the goal happened because I was in the bathroom. Soon after, it is mutually agreed that my trips to the bathroom are over. After all, both of us being superstitious, it is a little weird but we stick to it. The Bruins get a power play late in the period, which draws a cheer from the bar crowd. As the period winds down, I start to think about a tense final twenty minutes that are coming up. But, with five seconds left, captain Chara unleashes an absolute bomb that draws a HUGE roar from the bar. High fives and hugs all around, including a big embrace between me and my friend as I lifted her up to signify the importance of that goal. It is 2-1 Bruins with twenty minutes to hold on to the lead and clinch the series. The intensity for the third will be at its peak…
At the start of the third period, I notice it gets a little more quiet as the seriousness of the game draws more focus from the crowd. A little over four minutes into the third, a big save from Gustavsson draws a big “oooooh” from the crowd, which soon turns into a loud collective scream as Lucic puts in the insurance goal to make it 3-1. Cue the goal horn, Zombie Nation, and the WOO mixed in with high fives and hugs all around and we started to feel like that was the goal to send the Bruins into the second round. The atmosphere gets louder and louder as the time ticks down inside of five minutes left. During that corresponding TV timeout, my friend decides it is her turn to use the bathroom, not knowing the consequences of what was to happen. With less than four minutes left, Zetterberg puts in a goal from a sharp angle and the bar goes quiet. The Wings cut the lead to 3-2 and the final three minutes and change are going to be incredibly tense. Every eye in the bar is now glued to a TV as the game winds down to a close. And then, with sixteen seconds left, as Jarome Iginla carries the puck up the ice with an empty net staring him down, this happens…
It’s pure bedlam. The crowd erupts. The goal to put the Bruins up 4-2 and the party was ON. Soon after, the time runs out and its high fives and hugs all around once again. The Bruins win the series and the Wings are the subject of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” which plays around the bar once time runs out. I turned to my friend Lauren and gave her a giant hug of relief that the game was over, the series was over, and the party was just beginning.
As I soon found out, she had taken a video of the same exact moment as I did. Her caption perfectly captured the moment:
“Yeah, we’re Boston, we’re kind of nuts! Wouldn’t have it any other way!!”
Amen, Lauren. AMEN.
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