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Not many of us have the opportunity to attend a Stanley Cup Final game. Columnist Jan Snyder made the trip for Saturday night’s Game Four and shares her Mellon Arena experience.



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Game One

by Jan Snyder
Monday June 2nd, 2008

Reporting live from Mellon Arena!

Game Four was an exciting game with a sad ending for Pens’ fans.  But the team played their hearts out and the fans were awesome!  Had the Pens scored on the 5-on-3, we could still be sitting in Mellon Arena watching overtime.  But it wasn’t to be for the Pens tonight, so we trek back to the Motor City, win there, and come back to the ‘burg to try again. I can now say that I’ve experienced a Stanley Cup Final game!

The atmosphere as we were heading to the game was electric.  Fans of both teams had amassed at the Arena where those who watch the big screen were staking their spots on the grass.  As we walked up, my sister, Kim, my daughter, Jen, and I saw former Penguin Kevin Stevens heading in with his kids.  We saw two guys dressed as penguins in full length costumes, looking like Sister Mary Penguin!  We saw the one Hanson Brother who lives in Pittsburgh being interviewed for TV. 

My son-in-law, Jim, was so sweet and insisted Kim take his ticket so we could have a “girl’s night out”.  And before you think he may not have wanted to go to the game with his mother-in-law, let me assure you that he is the sweetest, kindest guy in the world and just wanted Jen, her mom and her aunt to have a special time at the game.  He stayed home and watched on a big screen, HD TV, so it wasn’t all bad for him!

These local Pittsburgh cookies are almost as sweet as Jim

We had barely walked into the building when I spotted E.J. Hradek and Don LaGreca from the NHL Network.  They were so very nice and chatted for a few minutes.  Their noontime show will continue through July 11, then go on hiatus until September.  We’ll have to enjoy them while we can!

Everyone received their whiteout shirt, a program and a rally towel and then the crowd really got into it!  The place was rocking with chants of “Let’s Go, Pens” and towels waving madly as the Pens took the ice.  But as raucous as it was, when the announcer asked for a moment of silence to remember Vancouver Canuck Luc Bourdon, the place went eerily silent – you could have heard a pin drop.  Hockey fans are fans of all teams when such a tragedy as the death of a very young man takes place.

Only one octopus found its way on the Mellon Arena ice and was quickly dispatched by one of the linesman. 

Jan, Jen and Kim's view in Mellon Arena

Just being there for the game was so special and when Marian Hossa scored, there was the loudest roar I’ve ever heard!  All that pent up energy we held in while waiting for the game to start was suddenly released in one joyous scream of solidarity for our team! 

Jim's view from home

But soon Nicklas Lindstrom tied the game and later Jiri Hudler scored the winning goal and the air was let out of our tires.  But the Pens acquitted themselves very well, played a tough game, and had the crowd with them to the bitter end. 

After our race up the hill of the Playoff Rollercoaster on Wednesday, we’re now going down a little slope – so Monday night, we start climbing that hill again for another thrill!!  Let’s win in Detroit, boys!


Recent Columns from Jan Snyder

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Mowed Down in Motown Part One

Of Octopi and Penguins

Why We are Here

Pens Come Home and Rule the Roost

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Talbot Tickles the Twine

Jen's Playoff Report

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Playoff Fashion Issue

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Playoff Reprt: From Lisa's Sofa

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