Boys’ day out

Keeping the Peace
By Tom Lessard

It all started on my birthday this October. My boys bought three tickets to see Montreal (my favourite) play Buffalo in Buffalo. Hearing this, another son and my grandson wanted to go, too, so they bought two more tickets. Then a friend of Billy’s thought it would be a good plan if he could go with us.
I left Crediton in the morning and left my car at my eldest son Tom’s house in London. His seven-year-old daughter, plays hockey on a Devilettes novice house league team that had a tournament game at 10:15 that morning at the Western Fair sports complex. We had plenty of time, so we stayed and watched them play. It was her turn to play goal; they won 3-1. Great game!
As soon as it was over, Tom and I left for Burlington, where we were to meet the rest of the gang. Clipping down Highway 403 at 120 km/h, we didn’t see two cruisers sitting on the median. As we passed them, I noticed the lights start flashing. I said to Tommy, “Uh oh! Here goes a couple hundred and a some points.” But, as it turned out, they weren’t after us.
About half an hour later, Tommy’s phone rang. It was Billy calling to see where we were and to tell us of a change in meeting places. Tommy wasn’t looking in his mirrors and wouldn’t you know it, a cruiser passed us. Thankfully, considering the new cell phone driving law, he wasn’t looking our way.
On we went to our new rendezvous point, Mississauga. We picked up four in our group and headed off to Niagara Falls and the Wolfs Head Lodge, where Bill’s friend, our last rider, was staying. GPS is a wonderful invention; it directed us right to the door.
After loading up, we headed to Fort Erie and the bridge. The crossing is a very busy place. We had to show a passport or two pieces of identification (including one with a photo). The guard checked everybody out and when he came to me, he said that I wouldn’t be able to cross.
We asked why and he said it was because of my attire. I was wearing a Habs shirt, Habs helmet/hat, Habs coat, and Habs scarf. One of my sons piped up and said, “At least he’s not wearing a Leafs uniform.” After that, he let us go and told us to have a good time.
We arrived in Buffalo early and decided to go for supper at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, a restored warehouse in the city’s historic district. When we got to the entrance, we were told that there was at least an hour wait on the main floor, but if we wished to go up to the third floor, there would be lots of room. The first floor was for dining with entertainment; the second floor was an arcade with pool tables, dart boards, shuffle board, and gaming machines. The third floor had a bar, all you can eat buffet with salads, wings, roast beef, pasta, gravies, sauces and rolls. The tables were round and candlelit. As more people arrived, walls were opened to show more tables and chairs.
After dinner, because it was a long walk to the arena, the boys pushed me in a wheelchair. Arriving at the arena, we were fronted by red, white and blue shirts, coats and hats. I thought we were at the Montreal Forum. The mass of Montreal fans reflects the fact that the Hamilton Bulldogs are a farm team, and use the same Habs uniform. The HSBC staff and volunteers were excellent; we were treated with respect and assistance that would be hard to beat.
There was plenty of hollering, singing, booing and cold beer, and even though the Habs outshot and outplayed the Sabres, we went down to defeat. Wait until next time!
Happy anniversary Rita and Happy Birthday Glenn.