VANCOUVER – Jubilant Vancouver fans screamed themselves hoarse in celebration of the Canucks 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Friday.
The city’s core was jammed with thousands of fans hollering at the top of their lungs, honking horns, whistling and some even brought out bagpipes to celebrate the victory that puts the Canucks one win away from capturing their first Stanley Cup.
There was a lot of fan nervousness before the game, given the Canucks were outscored 12 to 1 in the two previous games in Boston.
But Friday’s post-game fan release was near deafening.
“I thought the Canucks came back and they did a stellar performance, it was everything they needed to do,” said Allan Wynnyk, 31, from suburban Langley.
And while he admitted the team seemed to loose its way in the two games in Boston, Wynnyk said the Canucks stuck together to win Game 5.
Brian Gusko, 45, watched at home for the first two periods, but saw the winning goal and decided to join the fun.
“I didn’t want to go downtown until they scored, I came here, what an amazing party scene,” he said.
Gusko also admitted to having a case of the jitters before the game.
“(Roberto) Luongo, if he’s good he’s the best in the league, if he starts choking, pull him,” he said, referring to the Canucks goalie.
Gusko said he hopes the team will protect Luongo when they return to Boston for Game 6 on Monday.
Brian Wheeler, from Merritt, B.C., is another who believes Luongo has his concentration back.
And like many other Canuck fans, Wheeler had some advice for the Vancouver goalie for Monday’s game.
“I think if he keeps his head in the game, keeps focused, and plays it like it’s a home game,” Vancouver should prevail he said.
Several suburbs around Metro Vancouver set up huge television screens so fans could gather to watch, but no where were the crowds bigger than in Vancouver.
When Maxim Lapierre scored for the Canucks in the third period a huge roar rolled over the city.
One devoted Canuck fan has even created a video tribute to the team that thousands have viewed on the Internet.
Adam Mackay-Smith, 38, of Kamloops, B.C., wrote, directed and starred in the short video.
It opens with a shot of Mackay-Smith wearing a toque and carrying a large axe over his shoulder. He introduces himself as Johnny Canuck.
“Some years, you feel like you’ve got nothing to live for, but not this year,” says the voice over.
“This year I’ve blackened hawks, I’ve preyed on predators, and endangered sharks,” it continues, referring to the teams Vancouver eliminated during the playoffs.
“Now it’s time to ruin the bruin,” Mackay-Smith says, as he comes upon a large bear in the woods, smiles and indicates with his finger for the bear to come forward.