After miracle across the river, Wild fall 3-2 in overtime to Canucks
ST. PAUL — With the Xcel Energy Center Bowl lower bowl less than half full on Sunday — thousands of fans still huddled around TVs in the concourse, soaking in the moments before Stefon Diggs’ miracle touchdown reception that lifted the Vikings into the NFC Championship Game — the Wild and Canucks took the ice for a game that felt rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
As anthem singer John deCausemeaker hit the final notes of “O Canada” minutes before the game, an unforgettable roar bellowed throughout the building, as Diggs hauled in a pass from Case Keenum and raced 61 yards into the end zone.
“Touchdown!” radio announcer Paul Allen screamed over the air waves. “Are you kidding me?! It’s a Minneapolis miracle!”
For those across the river in St. Paul that couldn’t believe their eyes, the jumbotron showed the play for everyone to see seconds before puck drop.
In that moment, nearly every player on the Wild fixated their eyes to the screen.
Those type of moments don’t happen in Minnesota, right? Well, on Sunday, they did.
The rest of the night had a rather weird feel to it.
While the Wild fell 3-2 in overtime to the Canucks, a good chunk of the crowd seemed almost worn out from the the euphoria they had experienced before the game even started.
As far as decibels levels go, Jason Zucker gave the Wild the lead early in the first period, and Loui Eriksson tied the game for the Canucks about 12 minutes later, yet one of the loudest cheers early on came when a random fan started a “Skol” chant that spread like wildfire throughout the stands.
Heck, even Zach Parise sported an “NFC North Champs” hat for his on-camera interview during the second intermission.
Daniel Winnik gave the Wild another lead midway through the third period, cashing in from the slot, before Thomas Vanek tied the game for Canucks.
That set the stage for overtime where Brandon Sutter to scored the game-winner to spoil an otherwise special night.