Hockey fans across Alberta piled into bars at 5 a.m. MST on Feb. 23 to cheer the Canadian Men’s Olympic team to gold.
Minutes after the Canadian’s men hockey team beat the U.S. team in the semi-finals, Premier Alison Redford tweeted that the bars would open to serve liquor for the big game.
“I couldn’t believe my Twitter feed when I saw Redford’s tweet,” said Scott Reiman, a Calgary construction worker.
Reiman was one of many Calgarians to fill pubs and bars across the city to cheer with hundreds of other hockey fans, even though getting a table was tough.
“I called probably 10 different places and they were all already booked.”
Reiman and his group of friends ended up at Donegal Irish Pub, where 15 tables were left for the first to arrive.
Getting a table without a reservation also proved to be quite the battle.
“We lined up at four in the morning at the Tilted Kilt, and we still weren’t the first in line,” said Sara Holbrook, a Canada Post letter carrier.
“We were actually lucky to get in.”
Once the game began, the attention was completely locked in on the televisions and cheers rang throughout the pubs.
After Canada’s Jonathan Toews opened the scoring, the roar of the crowd grew and complete strangers embraced with high fives and even a few hugs.
“We had to share a table with some random people, but during this game we were all on the same team,” recalled Jordan Saagared, a yard labourer at Rona.
“When Crosby scored, I literally hugged one of the guys that we shared a table with.
“I just couldn’t contain my excitement.”
After the medals were handed out, the pride of Canadians soared to an all-time high, resulting in the crowd singing along with the National Anthem.
“I stood up on my bar seat, and before you know it, everybody else started doing it,” recalled Reiman.
When it was all said and done, some lucky hockey fans were able to bring home keepsakes, such as Donegal’s special Molson Canadian skate schooners mugs.
I stood up on my bar seat, and before you know it everybody else started doing it. – Scott Reiman
“It cost an additional $6 to be able to bring home the skates,” said Reiman.
“I’ll be filling up that cup on many occasions and will always remember the day I bought it.”