Winnipegger’s woke up to a little snow dusting the ground Monday, but that only fuelled the passion for a much bigger storm later that night.
The Winnipeg Jets were finally on home ice after starting the series on Thursday, April 16 in front of 15,016 hopeful fans. After loosing the first two games against the Anaheim Ducks, Jets fans were hoping for a win.
The last time Winnipeg saw a whiteout was 19 years ago. The tradition began in 1987 when the Jets fans were asked to wear white to the home games during playoffs. Fans dressed in head-to-toe white and it was then named the Winnipeg Whiteout.
As fans made their way to the MTS Centre, so did a mix of white and cream, crazy costumes and creative signs. If you saw anyone not wearing white, they most likely were wearing a wild costume like what these two guys (pictured below) were wearing. A big joke of the night that people experimented with was how Winnipeg was going duck hunting. These guys dressed as duck hunters and went all out with duck whistle. Needless to say, they got the attention of many.
There were not only creative costumes but a number of signs that made you laugh and smile. My favourite signs of the night went to the large heads of Trouba, Wheeler, Pavelec, Scheifele, Perreault, and Byfuglien. There were of course puns directed at the Ducks – lots of them. The famous “Our Jets will fly forever” banner from 1993 was re-created twice. One was hung over the ledge of the 300 level, but according to Twitter was confiscated.
When the warmup started and the crowd was wild. There were more people in the bowl for the warmup then I’ve seen all season, it was as if it was time for the puck drop. When it was time for puck drop, the arena roared even reading 124 decibels during Lee Stempniak goal on Monday.
The feeling was incredible. Seeing the sea white gave me goosebumps. Fans waved around their white towels, given to them on their seats, creating a cold wind that went well with the “storm”. Every so often you would might even get whacked in the head with a towel. This also made documenting the evening a little dangerous. I found myself clenching my phone to prevent a towel from sending it through the stands.
Unfortunarely, the Jets fell short and were unsuccessful during their two games here. They lost on Monday night 5-4 in overtime and lost 5-2 on Wednesday.
At the end of Wednesday’s game, Jets fans stood celebrating and changing “Go Jets Go” and swinging the towels around. They supported and showed their pride towards their team making it to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This experience was incredible. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling. I do know one thing – I am proud to be a Winnipegger. Winnipeg may get a bad wrap once in a while, or I may even hear people say they want to get out of this city, but I’m not moving from here any time soon.
Hopefully next year, I will be able to wear my white and sit here writing another post with a different ending. Great season boys.
GO JETS GO!