Words cannot do justice to the Spokane Chiefs vs. Vancouver Giants Game 5 playoff game held Fri., Apr. 10 7:30 p.m. which finished on Sat., Apr. 11 at 12:45 a.m.--119 shots on goal, numerous posts and crossbars, stupid penalties (especially by Evander Kane and Lance Bouma) and all of 5 goals over the 126:05 of play.
The OTs were beyond bizarre.
First there's all that dead time with the 15-minute intermissions between each OT period where you try to kill time by walking around the arena, stretching and yawning and looking at the clock hoping it goes faster. Someone was definitely better prepared as a woman in front of us had a book she brought along.
Mostly, we spent the time thinking should we eat something? I mean, what does one eat at midnight? Popcorn? Peanuts? Ice cream? The scoreboard asked us at one point "Should we order pizza?" which drew a huge round of applause.
The PNE at least kept concessions open throughout which is something that did not happen at GM Place back in '06 during the Canucks' 5-OT game vs. Dallas.
And I did catch a White Spot burger in one of the OT giveaways that I passed along to my hungry nephew sitting next to me.
The in-arena DJ also had all the appropriate songs (albeit nothing really from any decade after the '70s so what does that say about the state of arena rock music?) cued up when the clock struck 12--Eric Clapton's "After Midnight," the Rolling Stones' "Midnight Rambler," etc. (Sadly missing was Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour," but I digress.)
The OTs do zoom right along without all the TV ads and timeouts.
The second OT was tremendous and probably the best period of the game.
The third OT it was sluggo hockey with the players having zero energy by then.
It didn't help that the Giants version of Krazy George came by our section to bang his drum. At 7:30 p.m. this is very enjoyable. After midnight not so much especially with one's ear drums literally three feet from the drum itself. Meanwhile other people were sleeping across chairs as building began emptying out quite a lot after the third OT.
Then mercifully in the fourth OT, after a Casey Pierro-Zabotel giveaway trying to work for the perfect shot resulted in a turnover semi-breakaway by Blake Gal that ended up with the G-men's Mike Berube somehow trying to lift Gal's stick but ending up putting it in his own net for an own goal, it was over.
Also, on a side note, we sat right next to Evander Kane's schoolage sisters and their (I assume) granddad right down there in row 8. They made it to the end of the game, too.
What can I say but I sort of feel like those falling businessmen in a Magritte painting. Why was I there? What just happened? Did I really sit through two entire hockey games plus in one sitting?
After Spokane's winning goal what was left of the 8,948 fans sat in stunned silence for about a good 30 seconds . . . and then rose and gave the teams a standing ovation.
A night . . . and morning to remember.
Then last night the Giants somehow solved Spokane goalie Dustin Tokarski in double OT to win Game 6 to tie up this epic series at three games each.
Game 7 goes Tuesday and I'll get back to you, if I survive that.