It was an end of an era. The Canucks’ final game at the old Pacific Coliseum happened 20 years ago today, May 27, 1995. I wish I could say I was there, but I was a struggling student and I couldn’t afford the tickets. However, I think I went to more Canucks games that year than I ever did in a single season, pre-season ticket holder days.
I had many great memories at the Rink of Renfrew, but it’s no question the biggest one was Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in 1994 and the Canucks forced a Game 7 against the New York Rangers. Two guys with the same name, spelled differently, both scored twice that night to beat NYR 4-1. Jeff Brown and Geoff Courtnall stole the show. I remember being in tears thinking they were going back to New York for Game 7. I was 19 years old. It was the time of my life and that team was so inspiring. I’m sure many of you old enough to remember the old rink have many memories over the years there too.
In 1995-1996 season, the Canucks were moving into their downtown arena, GM Place. They were saying goodbye to Pacific Coliseum and to an era that built a new generation of Canucks fans.
The Canucks were in the Western Semi-finals against the Chicago Blackhawks after getting past St. Louis in the 1st Round. Roman Oksiuta had the game of his career in a losing effort. He scored twice that night, along with a tally from Jeff Brown.However, it was Chicago familiars, Jeremy Roenick and Chris Chelios who score for Chicago and two former Canucks came back to haunt their old team, Gerald Diduck and Murray Craven scored to make it 4-3. Chelios scored the game and series winner as the Blackhawks swept the Canucks in their final game ever at Pacific Coliseum.
It’s great I can still watch hockey there, as it now houses the WHL’s Vancouver Giants, but it’s where my love for hockey and the Canucks started and it will always be a special place for me, and for many fellow Canucks fans. What were your favourite memories? We’d love to hear about them.