Bloggers’ favourite Senators moments: Peter Raaymakers from Silver Seven Sens

To mark the Senators’ 20th season, we’ve asked some prominent Senators bloggers to give us their favourite moments in modern franchise history. Next up is Peter Raaymakers from Silver Seven Sens, who chose the team’s most important overtime win.

Bloggers’ favourite Senators moments: Peter Raaymakers from Silver Seven Sens
Kyle Turris #7 of the Ottawa Senators scores during the shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

The fifth and decisive game in the 2007 NHL Eastern Conference Finals was the stuff of legend, and it was fitting that the person to end it was the most legendary player of the modern-day Ottawa Senators.

I’m sure most fans remember the game: Against the Buffalo Sabres, in Buffalo, on a Saturday in May of 2007. The Sabres went up 1-0 early in the second, but Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza each notched a goal to put Ottawa up 2-1 after two. Then Maxim Afinogenov evened the score mid-way through the third, sending the game to overtime.

In an almost too-fitting-to-be-true role reversal from the year before (when Daniel Alfredsson was beaten by a Sabres forward in a series-clinching overtime game), Alfie made his way through three defending Sabres and fired a tricky wrist shot that somehow beat Ryan Miller, sending the Sens to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time — and simultaneously bringing hundreds of thousands of supporters out of their seats and into the air.

Even though the game was in Buffalo, a group of friends and I headed to Scotiabank Place to watch it on the big screen they’d been setting up on the pavilion in front of the arena. The lead changes brought us emotional ups and downs, and when the game went to overtime there were a lot of nervous faces in the crowd.

Because there was little else I could do, I flipped my hat inside-out in “rally cap” style, and could barely sit still through the intermission. Luckily, the extra frame was almost all Senators (they outshot the Sabres 6-2 in the 9:32 of overtime), which made it a bit easier on the nerves. Alfredsson was gracious enough to take just as enough time in overtime to make it worthwhile, but didn’t make us wait so long that we developed anxiety disorders.

Thousands of us were on our feet for Alfie’s epic rush, and when that puck floated over Miller’s pad, the place erupted with excitement. People were pretty much high-fiving and hugging anyone around, whether they knew them or not, and the whole city was completely stoked. The Stanley Cup Finals returned us to earth in short order, but for a few weeks that summer, Ottawa felt on top of the hockey world.

The post-game celebrations were epic, too. I won’t go into too much detail on those, but suffice to say that dark rum, whiskey, cinnamon schnapps, beer, and hot tubs don’t mix.

Peter Raaymakers founded and writes for the Silver Seven Sens blog, which can be found here.

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