Sports bring people together, whether it’s watching them or playing them.
The sentiment couldn’t be more true then when it comes to hockey.
For two Canadians who are lifelong Winnipeg Jets fans, the Stanley Cup Playoffs were able to bring them back together.
Dan Wowryk and Mjr. Al McMurachy have known each other since they were 5-years-old.
The two played on the same hockey team in Shoal Lake, Man.
“Dan and I were on the same line back in the day. I was left wing, he was right wing,” McMurachy said.
But the two lost touch over the years — until now.
“I’ve cheered for the Jets my entire life,” Wowryk said. “Even when there was no team I wore a ton of Jets gear. I wore it all the time.”
Wowryk accepted a job in Las Vegas last year. Little did he know at the time, his friend and former teammate, Al McMurachy, a Major with the Canadian Armed Forces, was posted on an exchange to 29 Palms marine training base near Joshua Tree National Park.
The two reconnected and bonded over their beloved Jets, even though Wowryk is now a Vegas Golden Knights season ticket holder.
During round two of the playoffs, Wowryk made his friend a promise. If the Jets won and the team moved on to play the Vegas Golden Knights, they would go together to watch their team.
“He just called me out of the blue one night and we were watching the game together,” McMurachy said. “He said ‘hey man I got tickets, if we go and there’s a game three in Vegas, you’re coming.'”
Then it happened. The Jets clinched the series in a nail-biting game seven against the Nashville Predators.
“The Jets clinched last week and within 5 minutes left of the third period I was on the phone,” Wowryk said. “I got 150, maybe 200 text messages over the next 12 hours (from people) asking how (they) get tickets in Vegas and is there a place to stay at ‘Dan-dalay Bay.'”
But Wowryk kept his promise and the two former teammates went to game three on Wednesday night.
“He came through,” McMurachy said. “I’m here with my buddy Dan, my linemate Dan and we are having a great time.”
While it wasn’t necessarily the game outcome the two friends wanted to see, it was still a win. The two were able to reconnect and watch their favourite team play in Western Conference Finals of the playoffs.