PHILADELPHIA, PA — By now, sports enthusiasts everywhere know that the 2012-13 NHL season is currently stalled in the midst of a lockout. Fans are saddened, angry, irritated, and frustrated with the uncertainty of when their favorite sport will return.
Fortunately, there’s still plenty of hockey being played worldwide to help fill the void the NHL has left and folks are flocking to tune into minor- and world-league games. And where there’s hockey, there’s a hockey party! For this year, there was no better way to kick off our Hockey Party season than with the Canadiens’ AHL team the Hamilton Bulldogs facing off in the second game of a home-and-home series against the Toronto Marlies.
It was a Saturday night during hockey season in Montreal and there was a certain familiar buzz in McLean’s Pub as we arrived and gathered at our reserved tables with prime views of the restaurant’s many TV screens. Some guests arrived decked out in their best Habs gear, proudly supporting the home town team. Before long the table was filled with platters of tasty food, drinks were ordered, and the merriment began!
Despite a less-than-stellar showing by the Bulldogs, everyone enjoyed having a reason to root for hockey and hang on every hit, shot, and block. They might not have ended up in the win column at the end of the evening, but the game did allow us to get better acquainted with new friends.
Two wonderful couples joined our party for the first time, both from out of town. Richard and his lovely wife Lorraine traveled from Belleville, Ontario to spend a long weekend in Montreal. They did some shopping, took in a concert at the Bell Centre, and made their way to McLean’s to join the All Habs crew at the Hockey Party. Richard proclaimed he was a devoted reader of All Habs Hockey Magazine and seemed delighted to get to meet some of the writers whose work he reads online. We enjoyed getting to know them and are anxious to see them at another Hockey Party very soon!
The other darling couple who joined our festivities that evening was Raymond and Ruby. There was no mistaking they were in the right place when they walked in wearing Habs gear from head to toe! Raymond and Ruby also traveled to Montreal from out of town for the weekend, to commemorate some very special milestones. With Raymond’s birthday and their 49th (that’s right, 49th!) wedding anniversary taking place on back-to-back days, the smiling couple went sightseeing, toured the Habs Hall of Fame, and reserved their seats at our Hockey Party. We were honoured to have them with us on such joyous occasions, and pub manager Jay Farrar helped seal the celebration with a round of shots for all of our guests as a way to say ‘Cheers!’ to the happy couple.
The All Habs crew was also thrilled to welcome fellow team member Robert (@SeriousFan09) who was in town visiting from Toronto. For some teammates, it was a first opportunity to meet Robert in person and we were all very happy that he was able to attend. We look forward to seeing him again soon! (In the meantime, you can catch up on his latest articles by clicking HERE.)
And that’s really what our Hockey Parties are all about. Sure, we gather together to watch our most hallowed sport and cheer on our favourite teams as they take the ice, but beyond that it gives fans who share this passion an opportunity to come together from all over the continent and meet new friends, get reacquainted with old friends, and make memories that last long after the final buzzer sounds.
Be sure to follow @HockeyPub and @All_Habs on Twitter for updates and information on the next Hockey Party when it is announced! Also take a moment to Like our Facebook pages (Hockey Party, Hockey Pub, and All Habs). We’ve got plenty of great events coming this season – with or without the NHL!
Click the link to check out the full album of photos from this Hockey Party, including more pictures of the All Habs Trivia Challenge prize winners: Bulldogs v Marlies (October 20, 2012)