The Boston Bruins 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres was overshadowed by one of the most powerful moments in sports history. Just before the puck dropped Wednesday night, the 17,000-plus in attendance at TD Garden sang one of the greatest renditions of the national anthem.
The Boston community was struck with tragedy early this week when multiple explosions went off at the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed during the bombings and over 130 people were injured.
The Bruins game Wednesday was the first major sporting event in the city since the bombings, and the “Bostonians” provided a moment Americans will never forget.
The night started with a moment of silence for all those affected by the Boston Marathon Tragedy before an emotional video montage was played. After the video, famous anthem singer Rene Rancourt took the ice and began the national anthem.
The crowd joined in immediately, and Rancourt respectfully gave them the spotlight. Rancourt has been singing the national anthem at Boston Bruins’ games for the past 35 years, and last night’s rendition will go down as his most memorable after only singing the first few lines.
He understood the moment and conducted the fans as if they were an orchestra. American flags waved and everyone sang along before finishing with a roar that could be felt across the nation. Here’s video of the 17,000 strong belting out one of the most beautiful renditions of the national anthem:
For one moment, Boston was smiling again and hope had been restored. The crowd ended the anthem with “Let’s Go Boston” chants before the game began and the chanting never stopped once the puck dropped.
With emotions high, the Bruins jumped out to an early lead when Daniel Paille scored just over five minutes into the first period. The Sabres responded later in the period as Thomas Vanek netted his 17th goal of the season on the powerplay.
The Bruins took the lead in the second before giving it back in the third off another Sabres’ powerplay. The two teams played an even overtime before the Sabres’ Drew Stafford scored the lone shootout goal to end the game.
Once the game had ended, both teams met at center ice and raised their sticks to the air in a salute to the Boston community. The crowd owned the moment as they did the anthem and began chanting “USA, USA” until both teams left the ice.
This wasn’t the first time a Boston crowd has sung the national anthem as they did it at Fenway Park during a Red Sox game in 2007. The anthem that day was sung by an autistic man who had struggled before Red Sox nation gave him some support. Here’s the video:
It will take time for Boston to heal, but Wednesday night’s display was a heart-felt moment of relief for everyone. It wasn’t about a hockey game or sports in general for that matter. It was about a community banded together for the long road of recovery ahead.
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]