My favourite Northlands moment came on Saturday October 6, 1990. It was my first Oiler game. The home-building company my father worked for had season tickets. He must have had a good month, because that Saturday night was the home opener.
The Oilers had just won their 5th Stanley Cup, and during the pre-game ceremony team officials rolled the trophy in question onto the ice. Even from high in the stands, The Cup looked massive and sparkled like a ten-foot diamond on a Christmas tree.
The home team was announced and Mark Messier was given the loudest ovation. There was a smoke-machine (!) and what would now pass as the appropriate lighting production for a 6 year old’s birthday party. Hey, it was 1990!
Then it happened. Just as the visiting Winnipeg Jets were announced, something I had never witnessed in person before began to happen.
Grown men started boo’ing. Children began jeering. Women were cussing. It was the most unruly thing I had ever seen or heard as an 11 year-old! Confused, and perhaps caught in the moment, I began to boo too! “Boooooooooooo!”, I hollered. I managed only one “mini-boo” before my Mother let me know that it was not polite and I was to stop immediately! I’m guessing she was thinking, “Phil Housley, Thomas Steen and Ed Olczyk seem to be decent guys. My child should not be calling them down at work.”
I don’t remember a single goal in the 3-3 tie (but I do remember going to Boston Pizza for dinner, delicious). Thanks for the memory and the lesson in sportsmanship, Mom!