Unofficial St. Patrick's Day is more than two weeks away. But thanks to USA Hockey's success in Sochi, Campustown is experiencing a dry — well, not-so-dry — run.
Perhaps you heard about the Americans' shootout win against Russia on Saturday morning. If you were anywhere near Green Street, perhaps you heard a roar when T.J. Oshie scored the game-winning goal.
"Complete chaos," said Krista Paplaczyk, 21-year-old manager at The Red Lion.
The Red Lion wasn't the only campus bar to open at 6 a.m. Saturday to accommodate a hockey-loving student body. It might have been the busiest, however, Paplaczyk estimating the crowd to be "close to 500."
"It was like a Saturday night at midnight," she said.
It was like New Year's Eve at Times Square after the U.S. won, a three-minute video capturing the euphoria as students danced to "Chelsea Dagger," a song that turns United Center into a mosh pit after every Blackhawks goal. You might have thought the chancellor called a snow day.
"I can't think of another situation or event with that kind of energy," Paplaczyk said.
So far. The U.S. plays Czech Republic at 11 a.m. today (Wednesday, Feb. 19) with a spot in the semifinals on the line. Doors open at 10.
On Saturday, The Red Lion got patrons in the mood by pumping Herb Brooks' famous 1980 Olympics speech — made before his U.S. team rocked the Soviets — over the sound system. Russia, not to mention all those Bloody Marys, didn't stand a chance.
"We were hoping students who love America would come out and show support," said Paplaczyk, who guaranteed her boss a crowd of at least 75 people when pitching the idea to open at 6 a.m. "It's safe to say it turned out better than I expected."
Here's video of the scene at Red Lion: