Residents crowd local bars, eateries to watch U.S.-Canada Olympic hockey match
As the clock hit zero on Team USA's 1-0 loss to Team Canada in Friday's Olympic hockey semi-final, Spencer Hennen stood out in the packed crowd at Carnivores Restaurant and Sports Bar like a big, red, sore thumb.
The yells of Hennen, 23, a Vancouver, Canada, native, were the only sound that could be heard in the Oakmont bar when it was clear that the Canadians would be playing for a gold medal.
“I've been hearing (trash talk) all week,” said the Oakmont resident, who was at the bar sporting a red Team Canada jersey. “I went to Penn State and work on the grounds crew at Oakmont Country Club now.
“I was in Vancouver for the last Olympics when we won gold. We're going to do it again.”
It wasn't only Canadian ex pats who were out-and-about to watch the rival countries duel on the ice.
“I actually just put my two-weeks notice in today,” said Jerry Bell, referring to why he was in a bar watching a hockey game during work hours. “So, I'm out celebrating the game and my career change.”
Bell, 45, of Shaler was joined by about a dozen soon-to-be-ex-colleagues.
To show his American pride, Bell was sporting a 1984 USA hockey jersey — which didn't fit as well as it did back then, he said.
“Back then, it was a hockey jersey, now it's a cycling shirt,” he joked.
Despite the blue sky and sunshine, Rob Cugini couldn't help but take off from his family-owned construction business.
“We love this place, so we took off to watch the game,” said Cugini, 29, of Oakmont, pointing to his friends seated beside him at the bar, all sporting Team USA shirts. “I'm a hockey fan, but I'm more of a USA fan than anything else.”
Cugini said he'd probably root for the Canadians now because they have Penguins players Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.
“They're our guys, and you have to stick with them,” he said. “I don't understand how we can have them under contract and let them play for Canada, but I'll root for them.”
In Primanti Bros. restaurant, in Harmar — where every seat and parking place was filled — Stephanie Shields sat in a booth with six of her friends waiting for her husband, Damian, to arrive on his lunch break.
“I work from home, so I decided to come watch the game for lunch,” said Shields, 50, of Plum, whose son, Stephen, plays hockey. “I'm a hockey mom, so what else would I do?”
Shields said she didn't feel weird rooting against Crosby.
“I'm USA all the way,” she said.
South Buffalo resident Ken Long said he couldn't miss the game.
“I'm a former Marine,” said Long, 51, as he waited for a seat at the bar. “I went to work early and I left early so I could watch the game.”
“I work right up the hill,” he said. “This is a no-brainer.”
R.A. Monti is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 7 in custody after New Kensington drug raid
- Parents of duct-taped Highlands student don’t want charges
- Harrison woman dead in 3-car crash in Natrona Heights
- Fawn fugitive Filous captured, jailed
- Stretch of Freeport Road rezoned
- Kiski Area sells school building
- Allegheny Valley board reduces transfer to $1.5M
- New Kensington officials eager to demolish 3 fire-ravaged buildings
- Armstrong County to try Welshman on indecent assault, related charges
- Opponent to keeping Colfax School open objects to $2 million transfer
- Cookies for Our Troops marches on