Most of us will remember exactly where we were when Sidney Crosby scored “the golden goal” as announcer Chris Cuthbert described it. But for Guelphites Alex and Nancy Campbell it was like being in a fairy tale.
They were sitting in the National Hockey League Players Association private box at Canada Hockey House right next to the Team Canada’s executive team led by Steve Yzerman. The Campbells were Drew Doughty’s billets for his three years in Guelph – Drew’s mom and dad away from home – and Drew was kind enough to pay their way to watch the last five games Canada played.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Alex. “The tension and noise in the building was unbelievable before the Canada-Russia game. It was just electric and I’ve never felt that kind of emotion before a game in my life and it was the same again for the gold medal game.”
After each contest the Campbells would go over to a private reception area at Molson Hockey House and wait for the players to arrive.
“Imagine sitting at a table with Drew and on one side of you is Sidney Crosby and his family and on the other is Martin Brodeur and his family. Pretty amazing stuff and the coaches were so nice too.”
On the days off Team Canada enjoyed they would meet up with their families for lunch before heading back to the Olympic village.
Then it was Canada and the U. S. for all the marbles.
“Nancy and I ended up in the NHLPA box which is really the Press Box when the Canucks play there. The view was incredible,” said Campbell who was one of 10 guests that Doughty paid to have attend the Olympics.
Everything was going well until Team USA scored in the final minute to send the game to overtime.
“It was deflating but you still had confidence they would find a way to win,” said Campbell, addressing the mood of the crowd. “And when Crosby scored it was just an outpouring of emotion.”
When asked whether the experience was the greatest of his life, he chose his words carefully.
“I had better say this properly … after my wedding day, it was the best day of my life,” he said with a chuckle.
Crosby’s goal was a moment that just about every Canadian will remember for a lifetime. Alex and Nancy Campbell got to experience it too but then they got to shake his hand afterwards and thank him on our behalf.
After a terrible first three-and-a-half months the Guelph Storm have finally scratched their way back into the playoffs. They clinched a spot Sunday and sit 8th in the Western Conference. With some real magic they could jump as high as fifth. But now they control their own destiny when it comes to finishing at least 7th (which would mean a London-Guelph match-up) after a key win in Erie last week and home wins over Sarnia (6-3) and Kitchener (5-4 in a shootout) on the weekend. Peter Holland was the first star in both weekend games.
“Whether we play Windsor, London or Kitchener we will be facing a very good team” said Brooks when asked whether he was desperate to avoid Windsor in the first round.
The Otters have just two games remaining while the Storm have three but the all important match-up is Friday night at the Sleeman Centre when the Storm hosts Erie. That game will have a playoff type feel to it.
“I said a few weeks ago our goal is to finish as high as we possibly can so I expect we’ll continue to push hard” said Brooks.