U.S. - Canada game brings out local Olympic hockey fans

Posted at: 02/21/2014 4:40 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2014 5:16 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

SARATOGA SPRINGS - It wasn't a typical weekday lunchtime crowd at Peabody's Sports Bar.

In fact this place doesn't usually serve lunch.

"We opened up just for the hockey game," said Joe McClements, a co-owner.

McClements was pressed into duty at the bar Friday afternoon because Olympic hockey fans came out of the wood work.

"We got slammed," he said. "We didn't know what to expect, we really didn't. I was thinking maybe 12 -14 people, we only had one bartender, one cook."

It seems an Olympic match-up between Canada and the U.S. draws fans from all walks of life. There were young families watching the game alongside die hard fans.

"I'm Canadian by blood, but American by birth. I've been watching this ever since I was a child. This means the world to me right here," said Pete Lepine of Saratoga Springs.

The dozens of TVs were tuned to this one game. The bar owners say they also show NHL games, but they don't draw like this.

Kyle Ahern of Saratoga Springs says it's all about the red, white and blue. "You're playing for your country, I think that's the biggest thing. You put the sweater on, it's about the name on the front, not about the name on the back."

Lifelong hockey fan Harvey Turner was surprised at the number of people tuning in at noon on Friday.

"I came down, I didn't think it would be this crowded. But I'm glad it is," said Turner.

And so are the owners of the sports bar, who were hoping a U.S. spot in the gold medal game would bring another banner crowd.

Canada beat the United States, 1-0. The U.S. plays Finland for the bronze medal on Saturday.