MONTREAL, QC — After months of speculation, debate, and apprehension while waiting and wondering if the NHL lockout would ever end, hockey fans everywhere have finally been rewarded for their patience. This weekend ushered in the return of NHL hockey and with it, fans rejoiced. It didn’t take long to hear chants and cheers ringing off the walls of arenas and sports bars in hockey cities all across North America.
It also provided the perfect backdrop for an opening night Hockey Party in Montreal, the first of the season to be centered around a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. McLean’s Pub on Peel Street is home base for our Hockey Parties, and sure enough on game night the pub was bursting at the seams with ravenous fans who were hungry for hockey…and they ended up with a whole lot more. Erica, a member of the team at All Habs Hockey Magazine, tells us all about the exciting evening:
McLeans Pub was packed full on Saturday night as hockey fans eagerly anticipated the start of the Habs’ 2013 season. As the tables quickly filled up, it was easy to spot which ones were for our Hockey Party. Hockey pucks were lined up along the best seats in the house, festively decorated by the McLean’s Pub staff to indicate these seats were reserved for our VIP guests.
Many familiar faces could be seen throughout the crowd, but we were pleased to welcome some new friends into the mix as well. Additionally, we were joined before and after the game by a pair of brothers in town from Halifax who came to Montreal just to cheer on their Habs at the start of the new, albeit shortened, season.
The pregame torch-passing ceremony was met with boisterous cheers – especially the moment where Jean Beliveau, one of many legendary Habs captains in attendance, walked to the ice and handed a lit torch to team captain Brian Gionta. Although the remainder of the game didn’t really go our way (which made the Leafs fans in attendance quite happy), Habs fans didn’t lose heart. We cheered when our captain scored a goal, effectively busting Ben Scriven‘s shutout. We held on until the very last moments of the game, hoping that the Canadiens would tie it up, and when they didn’t, we begrudgingly admitted defeat and let the Leafs fans gloat. Actually, we booed them a little bit as well, but all in good fun. (Hockey is back!)
Finally getting to enjoy watching our favorite team play a hockey game was just the tip of the iceberg on this very fun evening. During intermissions, another rousing rendition of the All Habs Trivia Challenge stumped many guests, putting their hockey knowledge to the test.
Pub Manager Jay Farrar provided hilarious entertainment while reading out some of the interesting and unique answers which were submitted. Remember, we give out a lot of points for creativity! It was stiff competition but many walked away with prizes – everything from a travel bag to a P.K. Subban clock. (Contrary to popular belief, the clock is not actually counting down to the moment when Subban will sign a new contract.)
One of the evening’s highlights, however, was our charity raffle to benefit the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. The Foundation provided two fantastic prizes: an autographed Max Pacioretty jersey and an autographed Carey Price hat. Needless to say, these items were a huge hit and people were clamoring to purchase more and more raffle tickets.
Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and helped us to make this fundraiser a sweeping success. Congratulations goes out to our winners, Kathy and Jimmy. We’re happy to support a wonderful organization like the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation and look forward to future initiatives to raise even more money for this worthy cause! Many thanks to their team for collaborating with us.
Be sure to check out all of the photos from this event on the All Habs Facebook photo album!
Don’t miss out on all the fun! RSVP early to reserve YOUR seat at our next event! Be sure to follow @HockeyPub on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook and you’ll be the first to get updated announcements about our upcoming Hockey Parties. Interested in hosting a Hockey Party in your neighbourhood? Email me at email@example.com for more information!