Exactly a year ago, the Wachovia Center was filled, 20,297 fans jammed in there, a state-record crowd. They were raucous during warmups, obediently and happily wearing their team-distributed orange T-shirts.
The building is normally loud during Flyers games. It was ridiculous during this game. If a crowd actually could influence a game, this crew was determined this would be the night.
It was the Stanley Cup finals, the Flyers involved for the first time in 13 years. They were down, 0-2, in the series to the Chicago Blackhawks.
It seems like a loooong time ago. It was so long ago, in fact, the building had a different name than it does today.
The Flyers were a desperate team that night - desperate being a good word in hockey lingo, because it means you're supposed to have more desire than the other guys. The Flyers needed a victory to make a series out of it. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, they had pulled the historic miracle, coming from a 3-0 series deficit to beat Boston in seven games.
In the long and glorious history of hockey, it was only the third time a team had overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series. The Flyers knew they couldn't pull that off again.
They didn't need to. Claude Giroux scored 5:59 into overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win. It was their first win in the Cup finals in 23 years, when Jean-Jacques (J.J.) Daigneault stunned Wayne Gretzky's Oilers in Game 6 in 1987.
Giroux's goal meant the series was on. It would end a week later, in another overtime game at the Wachovia Center. Patrick Kane, who might have been a Flyer, scored the goal and the Blackhawks took turns skating with the Stanley Cup aloft.