In which Natalie and I go to our first PWHL game

Natalie and I had a great night out at our first PWHL Ottawa game – a lopsided 4-0 win for the home team including the treat of a hat trick by captain Brianne Jenner.

The bigger events at Lansdowne include OC Transpo fare with the ticket price. We’ll often walk if we’re going together to a football game on a beautiful summer night; it’s just about 5k. Now that Nat has her e-assist we’ll likely cycle, but Nat is a fair-weather cyclist and it was a bit cool last night. We caught the 14 which was delayed by a worst-possible-spot bus breakdown further up Parkdale. I tried to re-direct traffic through a deke around it, but drivers were wary of taking the advice of some bus stop rando providing unsolicited directions so it took a while for our bus to get to our stop before pulling a deke of his own. It looks like OC Transpo dramatically boosts the number of Bank St. buses ahead of the game and the transfer was a minute or two. Two of my colleagues were on the bus returning home from a party and the bus moved well down Bank, so we had a good ride with lots of time for a bite before the puck dropped. I saw a couple more of my colleagues at the game, so it felt a bit like a Monday!

There were again lots of Bank Street buses waiting to get attendees home and we didn’t wait long. From the Transit app I could see that we were in a race to catch the 14 at Gladstone; our bus lost. We thought we had it and disembarked, but the other bus left just as we arrived and so we had to hoof it up to Somerset and wait about 10 minutes for an 11, which took no time at all to speed us home. If we’d known we were going to miss the 14 we’d have stayed on the 6 to the LRT station.

I know that Lansdowne takes its knocks, but from the perspective of someone who lives downtownish I’m grateful it’s there. The transit geography is complicated since my neighbourhood is at the end of the hypotenuse of a triangle that in our current east-west/north-south conception of the route map means we have to transfer. The Transit app means little waiting for our local route to get to Bank (last night’s wrench in the works notwithstanding), but getting home is a little chancier with resepct to making a quick transfer especially in late evening when routes are running less frequently. Still, it’s a magnitude of order better than fighting traffic on the Queensway and trying to get out of the Canadian Tire Centre hellscape of a parking lot.

I hope one of these days we’ll get to the point where high-frequency routes stay high-frequency until well into late evening to encourage our downtown nightlife. If that 11 or 14 was a six- or seven-minute route, we’d have barely noticed the transfer even after mis-judging getting off the bus.

I like to think that the ease of getting out of TD Place is in large part responsible for the number of fans still in their seats to give Emerance Maschmeyer her due as first star of the game. Her goaltending kept us solidly in the game through a rough start. A 4-o game with five minutes left would have seen an exodus from the CTC. Fans seemed more than happy to stick around last night until the last player was off the ice.