Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pre-Game Thoughts from Vancouver.

I am typing this from my hotel room which is mere minutes away from the Pacific Coliseum where tonight's game will be taking place. Tonight's game marks the first time I'll get to call a game from the Coliseum, and while I don't normally get nervous before games, tonight's is an exception.

I grew up just outside of Vancouver in Tsawwassen and was very fortunate to enjoy many hockey games (both NHL and otherwise) at the Rink on Renfrew.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My parents told me to get in the car (I was five) and said that we were going some place fun. They wouldn't tell me where or what we were doing. When we arrived at the PNE we got out, and immediately I thought they were taking me to Play Land. Nope. As we got closer to the Pacific Coliseum my Dad said to me, "Dan do you know what happens here? This is where the Vancouver Canucks play their hockey games."

Wide-eyed I asked, "Can we go get an autograph!"

He responded, "Well maybe. Because tonight Mom and I are taking you to see the Vancouver Canucks play the Los Angeles Kings."

I could not believe it! My very first game!

I remember watching Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings skate to a 4-4 tie with the Vancouver Canucks. My clearest memory from the game itself was the fact that I was scared for the Canucks to score because the Pacific Coliseum was SO LOUD!

Needless to say I got more comfortable with the loud noise from goals being scored, and the Pacific Coliseum truly was one of my favorite places to go. Period.

The Canucks moved into GM Place in the Mid-90's and for awhile the only time I went to the Pacific Coliseum was for concerts. But when the Vancouver Giants arrived on the scene, the Coliseum was once again a popular hangout for yours truly.

My classmates and I would attend Giants games and take photos through the glass. Then in 2004 my family started billeting for the Vancouver Giants, which provided even more of a reason for me to attend the games.

I was THAT kid who sat in the far corner, away from everybody with my hand-held tape recorder, and I practiced my play-by-play. I remember driving home from games thinking to myself, "One day I'll get to call a game for real at the Coliseum."

Well tonight's the night.

Tonight I proudly represent the visiting Prince George Cougars in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum, and I can't tell you how sweet it would be to call a victory for my team in this building.

In my opinion the Cougars are on the verge of turning a corner. Their defense was terrific this past weekend at home, and it will only get better with the addition of Josh Smith in the lineup.

Add the fact that Charles Inglis returns tomorrow, and Brock Hirsche's return is coming sooner than later, and all of a sudden this Cougars team looks quite a bit different.

It's easy to look at a 3-8-0-1 record and feel disappointed, but it's a long season and there is still plenty of time for things to get turned around. The future is bright, but so is the present.

Is tonight the night?

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