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Canucks, Armed Forces Appreciation night 2021

It’s been a while since I have attended a Canucks game. So as soon as stadium restrictions lifted, I sought out tickets to experience the joy of watching a sport live, once again.

For those who have never attended a live sporting match, I suggest you do. Fan or not, there is something about a live crowd and their amalgamated energy that just ignites any setting. Cheering in unison, clapping as one, and rejoicing over a shared success is unifying. A point worth pushing considering the world is still in the midst of a pandemic that has only distance us from one another. Not to mention watching the work and athleticism that goes into such a match earns the team your respect and admiration.

Game conclusion aside (The Canucks lost in overtime: 2 to 3 Anaheim), the night was amazingly fun and incredibly exciting, and this post will focus on that. There was plenty to eat and even more to drink; and the highlight was a goal that ended third period in the nick of time.

I happened to choose a good night to attend: Tuesday, November 9th, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks hosted The Anaheim Ducks on Armed Forces Appreciation night. As taken from the Canucks website: “Each year, the Canucks set aside one game near Remembrance Day to honour the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces for their dedication and professionalism while serving our country. Year after year, the Vancouver Canucks look forward to hosting members of the Canadian Armed Forces at this annual event. This year, the Canucks and their Season Ticket Members have donated over 700 tickets to the Canadian Armed Forces and are excited to welcome them to the game.”

Key Details included
* The Canucks players will wear limited edition camo warm-up jerseys that will be auctioned on vanbase.ca
* Sergeant Cindy Scott, Royal Canadian Air Force Band stationed in Winnipeg, Manitoba will be singing the Canadian and American national anthem
* The Canadian and American national anthem will also be accompanied by the Canadian Armed Forces Flag party, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) DISCOVERY
* A military G-Wagon vehicle will be used during intermission for prize giveaways

Admittedly I did miss majority of the above, outside of the opening ceremony, before the initial puck drop. We found ourselves exploring the area in between 20 minute periods. I mostly found myself in queues either to use the facilities or reup on my beverage quota.

Despite the need to check attendee’s vaccination records and IDs, and being scanned through the metal detectors, the line to enter the stadium went quick. And besides having to wear masks, the night felt like all the others of games past.


There was plenty to see and engage in outside of the match itself. Enough food and drink options to have your head on a swivel, including one that offered healthy plant based bowls versus a stand dedicated to bacon. There were sodas by the can, pre-spun cotton candy, and grab and go bags of chips bombarding you left and right. Merchandise and gift kiosks made picking up souvenirs easy. And points of interest allowed spectators to appreciate the history of our reigning team.

Food wise regular concessions offering stadium style hotdogs, popcorn, and nachos are available; however I was here for the newer gourmet options that Rogers Arena has brought in. Sadly I didn’t have the time, stomach space, or budget to try all the unique foodstuffs that I wanted to. But the following is what we had across three periods.

Keep in mind the same stalls and their offerings are available at different sections, so you need not traverse floors or even circle the whole area looking for one of the following vendors.

During the first intermission we found our way to the Club section. There, there is a joint Catch, Carve, and Guanco stand offering fresh caught seafood, hand carved sandwiches, and the Pacific Northwest take on classic Argentinian bean and rice bowl.

At Catch we had their lobster roll. Thick chunks of lobster, evenly coated in a tangy cream, given crunch and freshness by way of celery and lettuce. All packed into a buttered piece of toasted folded like a hot dog bun. As delicious as this was, it certainly did hurt to have to pay $16+ for it.

The Gaucho pork carnitas bowl was also $16, and if you wanted chicken it would cost you $1 more. At Gaucho you can only get either one of the two bowls. This would be Chicken or Pulled Pork topping a carefully staged bowl of rice, veggies, avocado, and black beans. Sadly, this was disappointing. Despite the vivid colours, it lacked flavour. It felt like you were missing a salsa to moisten up the bites, and to bring all the elements together. Though at least all the ingredients tasted fresh and of good quality.

For the second intermission we went more in line with traditional stadium cuisine. We had a hot dog from the Canucks Certified Steamers stand. They have basically upgraded your traditional all beef hotdog and bun with a slew of unique toppings. Each either $8.50 or $9.

We had the Chicago dog topped with tomato, pickles, relish, mustard, onion, celery salt and pepperoncini. It ate like the mouthful it was. All the tastes and textures, ensuring that the dog tasted slightly different bite after bite.

And for pizza we turned to Panago, not realizing this was the familiar franchise, finding themselves the “office slice of home ice”. But here they have large premade wedges for the most effective grab and go. Naturally Hawaiian was my pie of choice. They promised the “highest quality ingredients to create great tasting pizzas that are better for our health and our environment” and they delivered. All presented in a mini pizza box.

And naturally with all that we ate, we drank our fill of beers. Starting the night with a brew in each hand, making our way to our seats. We began with the can option that came to just over $35. You do pay the event premium for cans of Molson and Budweiser.

We then switched to a 24oz of beer on tap, each, per subsequent rounds. It is an option that is both easier to hold and easier on the wallet. Although I went into this night fully planning on indulging and allowing my purse straps to hang a little more freely.

Our seats were in Section 315 Row 9 Seats 3 & 4. This perch gave us a great vantage point of the game below. However, if you are planning on making it on to the jumbotron or catching a flying tee shirt, the lower bowl is where you want to be.

Other than that the show runners do an amazing job of amping up the crowd. Between catchy songs to lip sync to in between calls, and challenges to get attendees to stay up and participate for prizes and televised recognition you are fully entertained.

And of course there is the cheering of our home team heroes. Even being out of the game space for as long as I have been, and not being familiar with all the players, I found myself easily cheering for everyone’s combined efforts. The crowd reacted in unison with disappointing awwws at pucks lost and opportunities missed. And jeered at the advancement of the opposing team. Then regaled at our team’s ability to successfully penalty kill, followed by the rejoiced at our 2 goals. Especially the latter that gave us hope and an extension to the match. Only for it to be lost in Overtime.

Overall (even despite the Canucks’ loss), this was a memorable night, a step towards normalcy that all in attendance needed. I will definitely be looking out for the next game and the ability to work my way through more food stalls.

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