Every true New York Rangers fan knows who Stephane Matteau is.
For those who need a reminder, he was the unlikely hero who defeated the New Jersey Devils in double overtime of Game 7 in the ’94 Conference Finals. One of the most, if not the most, famous call in Rangers history came from his goal and from the mouth of Howie Rose. It goes like this, “Matteau behind the net … Swings it in front … He scores! Matteau, Matteau, Matteau! Stephane Matteau … And the Rangers have one more hill to climb, baby, but it’s Mount Vancouver! The Rangers are headed to the finals!” we all know the rest is history.
On March 12th, myself, my brother, my cousin and two other friends went to a season ticket member event that was held in at a rooftop bar/lounge in Times Square. My father has been a season ticket holder since 2001 and since he could not attend he let all of us take the tickets. At the event there were complimentary beverages and food, which was great. However the best part was being able to talk to and take pictures with two former Rangers, Stephane Matteau and Brian Mullen.
I have been to multiple Rangers fan events before so it was not my first time meeting them but being able to meet any former Rangers player is always special. After some previous chatter and joking around with Matteau, he eventually approached our group, as he was getting ready to leave. He told us that he had two extra tickets to that night’s game against the Hurricanes. We had a slight issue though, because there were only two tickets and five of us. After some contemplation, my cousin and I somehow wound up going to the game.
Everything felt so surreal as we walked to the Garden with him and went through the Delta Sky Club entrance. All the security knew Matteau and greeted us very politely. He then handed us our tickets and wristbands, which provided us with unlimited food and drinks at the Sky club.
I couldn’t believe this was actually happening.
After we had our tickets scanned and made our way to the Sky Club, we began to walk through the tunnel down to ice level to watch warm-ups. In the middle of watching I was given a puck that found its way over the glass by a cameraman. As if this night wasn’t already amazing enough. Once warm-ups were over we found our seats and enjoyed the game from our fantastic view.
I can never express how appreciative I was for the kindness shown by Matteau that night.
The only thing he asked of us was to “pay it forward” and be kind to others. One other thing he mentioned was that he created a new program for students called the “Woodlawn Student Leadership and Legacy Program” which aims to inspire students to create their own legacy and explore the leader inside of them. All in all I had a night I will remember for years to come and a story that will never get old.
Thank you Stephane Matteau for continuing to give Rangers fans unforgettable moments.