We are currently in the middle of the NHL off season. Instead of looking forward to Camp beginning like we all are. Lets take a moment or two and have some fun bringing back some great Hockey memories.
What is the greatest Hockey game you have ever been to?
Here is mine:
Almost 4 months until my 14th Birthday on April 27th 1994. The Buffalo Sabres were in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs the New Jersey Devils. The Devils had just come off a 5-3 victory in game 5 to go up 3-2 in the series. The Sabres came into game 6 fighting for their playoff lives, trying to bring the series back to the Meadowlands for a game 7.
Here is what I remember from that amazing day!!
There was about 2 hours until face off and I was outside with the neighborhood kids playing street Hockey. We were all talking about how the Sabres have to win tonight and that Hasek needs to be great in goal. One of the guys who came out to shoot around (who 12 years later became my brother in law) predicted that Alexander Mogilny would get a hat trick and the Sabres would win 4-2. At that point we all would have taken that. We didnt want to see our Sabres season end that night.
I remember driving down to the Aud with my Father on a very sunny day and stopping at the Mcdonalds drive thru on Delaware Ave to get a bite to eat so we wouldnt have to spend an arm and a leg for arena food. Who would have thought that we were on our way to one of the best playoff games every played. Not to mention the coming out party for a goaltender who would have a pretty big place in the history of the Buffalo Sabres franchise. Perhaps the best goalie to ever put on the pads as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
I wish I new the section we were in but I know we were in the Upper Blues (The Wooden seats) of the Aud just under the Oranges. The teams were out for warm ups and I was in my glory. I was at an NHL playoff game with my Dad. What can get any better then that??
I recall scoring chances from both sides and the "oohs" and the "ahh's from the crowd. Both Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur were standing on their heads and making highlight real saves left and right.
My memory takes me to the Overtimes. I dont recall which overtime this was but #44 for the Devils. Stephane Richer came in on a clean cut break. Just him and Hasek. Dominik Hasek made a split save that I will never forget. That save alone in my opinion said good bye to Grant Fuhr as a member of the Buffalo Sabres. The fans gave a standing ovation which seemed like minutes though it was only a few seconds.
Sitting in my seat in between the 3rd and 4th overtime. My father turns to me and says "Its getting late and you have school in the morning. If no one scores in this overtime we are gonna have to leave." I of course nodded my head and said "Ok".
Then history is made....
I remember the Sabres were shooting on the end I was sitting at in the Aud. My seats were on the side but right in front of the face off circle to the left of Brodeur. Jason Dawe had the puck and was going behind the net, but passed the puck in front as to say "Someone put it in". Then 5 minutes and 43 seconds in the 4th overtime period. Dave Hannan of all people skates in front and goes to his back hand. I remember like it was yesterday, seeing the puck almost like it was slow motion going up and over the already fallen Martin Brodeur. The horn goes, the fans erupt and I hugged my Dad like I have never hugged him before as Dave Hannan made his way on his knees down to the other end of the ice to be joined by his team mates.
From the words of one of the best in the business Rick Jeannerette "This series is going back to where Jimmy Hoffa is. The Meadowlands in New Jersey." To this day, one of the greatest calls in Sabres history.
I remember walking through the hallways of the Aud and the chant "OOH AHH SABRES ON THE WAR PATH" was being yelled and screaming by all that was there. A Sabres fan who had too much to drink picked me up and hugged me like I was his own. Not normally to the liking of my father but because the Sabres had won, It was ok.
Game 6 may have started on April 27th 1994, but it didnt end until the wee hours of the morning on April 28th. 125 minutes and 43 seconds of great playoff Hockey, 70 Dominik Hasek saves, along with 50 Martin Brodeur saves and a Memorial Auditorium that was rocking for one last time that season. Made this the best Hockey game I have ever been to.
I hope you enjoyed. I want to encourage you all who read this to tell your story. Lets bring back some of the great memories. Sign up. Let your story be heard for all of us to read. Before you know it, It will be time to make new ones in just a couple short months.