For Game 5 of the Western Conference Semi-Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators, Gollish and Forbes, one working in Baltimore, the other making a living in Los Angeles, literally said 'to heck with it all, we’re going to Vancouver.'
They hopped on planes, met in Seattle, rented a car, booked it to Rogers Arena, tracked down tickets and had the time of their lives. It was, in a word, priceless.
It was also a little insane.
The pair traveled roughly 5,500 kilometres, combined, on a whim, to watch their beloved Canucks play.
There’s dedication and then there’s that.
Forbes, 22, works for Xomad, a social media & digital influence marketing company. Her roots are in British Columbia and she and her two sisters would attend games with their dad growing up.
A visit with her parents would also be included in the trip for Forbes, so she didn’t struggle to make the 1,726 kilometre trek from sunny California.
For Gollish, a digital supervisor on feature films, the decision was a no-brainer, but the consequences of the trip made him think twice about jet setting out of Baltimore, a mere 3,807 kilometres from Vancouver.
The 30-year-old is currently working on the HBO movie Game Change, an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book by the same name, which focuses on the 2008 presidential election and specifically the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign.
If Gollish doesn’t show up for work, stars don’t get to shine.
“You want to imagine Woody Harrelson or Julianne Moore or Ed Harris being told they can't act because the guy who runs the digital camera isn't back from a hockey game?” laughed Gollish.
Still, he rolled the dice. The former UBC student understood the risks and he went for the reward.
“Honestly, after the grueling series with the Blackhawks, I was like, I'm going. I have to see a game.”
And Gollish wasn’t going without Forbes. Lickity split, a road trip was born.
“The trip went really smoothly,” said Forbes. “We had a checklist of Canadian things to get done: drink Kokanee, eat dill pickle and ketchup chips, drink coffee from Tim Hortons, have a couple of caesars.
“We had a killer playlist, our Canucks shirts and jerseys and were so excited the entire way. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs.”
Game 5 didn’t exactly go as planned with the Canucks losing a 4-3 decision to the Predators, although the celebration of moving on to the Western Conference Final for the first time in a long time was merely postponed a few nights.
Hardcore fans on a hardcore road trip suffer hardcore heartbreak after loss?
“We wouldn't have missed the trip even if you told us ahead of time the outcome, it was a memory I will never forget, as cliché as that sounds,” said Gollish, who was joined at the game by his cousin, Forbes and her parents.
“The Canucks were one of the best reasons to bring people together. Hannah got to hang out with her mom and dad for Mother's Day and we all had such a great time.
“Thank you Canucks for a great reason to go to Vancouver.”
There are some things money can’t buy: priceless memories from a Canucks game.