People may ask, how does a guy living in Massachusetts get hooked onto Vancouver Giants hockey. The answer is simple really, I love hockey, and the team at the time had just gotten Wacey Rabbit in a trade from Saskatoon. You see, Wacey Rabbit and Milan Lucic are teammates on the Vancouver Giants, and both are also prospects in the Boston Bruins organization. Once Wacey began suiting up for the Giants, I began following along via day-after updates on the website, later listening to feeds via the local traffic station and the "next big thing in hockey broadcasting" Joey Kenward.
I never expected what would happen next. After talking in the chat room with the regular crowd, others became interested in the Giants quest through the WHL, leading up through 3 rounds of victories, late night games, through the ups and downs of the 7th game double overtime fog filled WHL Championship, and through the Memorial Cup. We sit on the eve of the Memorial Cup championship, which could not have been scripted any better, where the Giants will face the team which defeated the Giants in game 7 to win the WHL Championship, and earlier this week beat them in this tournament to earn a bye to the Memorial Cup Final. The Giants have to be a very hungry squad, these boys have lost not only the WHL Championship, but also had to go through another team to get another chance at the Medicine Hat Tigers. These two teams are powerhouse teams, both so skilled in every department. I look forward to hearing Joey call the action tomorrow, he's sure to be fired up.
I'd like to thank Bruce 'Scoop' Cooper for the idea to write this blog about what the playoffs have meant to me. Not only have I been able to gain an appreciation for junior hockey, I've been able to gain an appreciation of others. I've had the pleasure of listening to and chatting about these games with some great people and have been able to share the experience with people spanning across borders. From a New Yorker who had originally grown sick of my constant talk of Milan Lucic, as well as Chilliwack traffic nightmares, to 2 very nice women north of the border excited to see their Ottawa Senators finally crack a chance at the Stanley Cup. From one of the most respected men in all of hockey, to a great guy in the province of Alberta (p.s. I can put Kobasew back on the bus if you would like him back), to an actual Blues Fan (Wideman for Boyes, please reverse the curse) and to a fellow Bostonian who actually knows what a Wacey Rabbit is! Not only have these playoffs given me a chance to experience the amazing run (and hopefully a story book ending) that this team has had, but it has given me the chance to cement friendships which I am grateful for.
GO GIANTS GO! Put a charge in them Hayzer! Go hunt some Tiger!