SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Geoff Hunter, Don McFarlane and Doug Sandover were all watching Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals from their homes in Delta, B.C. At the time it was just another playoff night for them, with their high-definition televisions frozen on CBC and nothing else in the world that could distract them from watching their beloved Canucks.
To their wives surprise, all the while they were plotting a boys' trip. Soon after San Jose finished off a 4-3 win over Vancouver, Doug called up his buddy Geoff and made one final plea argument that set the plan in motion.
"He says we are 40, our team is in Western Conference Finals, this may be our year, so let's make it memorable," Geoff told NHL.com, regaling us with a story they will tell their grandkids. "I said, 'Let's go.' I said it before I even talked to my wife."
With the blessing of their wives, and the assurance that they would be back by Monday, Geoff drove over to pick up Doug and together they scooped up Don. Off the boys went on a 16-hour journey that would take them across the border, through Washington, Oregon and eventually to San Jose so they could be here for Game 4 between the Sharks and Canucks.
Doug made sure to secure tickets before the left because, as Don said, "it would be a long way to come to not see a game."
Geoff, Doug and Don are all in their early 40s, about as old as the Canucks. They arrived in town Saturday with the excitement of a pre-teen heading off to see his first R-rated movie with his father.
They'll wear their Canucks gear at Game 4 on Sunday, cheer on their team with every ounce of their energy, and then get back into Geoff's car and make the 16-hour journey home.
Doug has a baseball team to coach Monday night. Geoff has a busy day Tuesday in his job for Federal Express. They're all married with two kids.
"We all work," Geoff said. "We have to get back."
Hopefully safely, and with memories to last a lifetime.
"We are invested," Geoff said of their love affair with the Canucks.