BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, Ohio - Dozens of Brooklyn Heights Kelli Stack fans crammed into a special Winter Olympic television watch party Thursday to cheer their local hero on.
The USA Women's Hockey Team, of which Brooklyn Hts. born-and-raised Stack is an integral team member, were set to play arch-rival Canada right at the lunch hour.
Brooklyn Ht's Mayor Mike Prucuk organized the city's department heads to work shifts for their workers to enjoy a free meal and cheer on Stack.
It was a full house by 12:15 p.m.
A close game, team USA eventually found themselves with a 2-0 advantage in what should have been the 3rd and final period. Only minutes remained as anxious faces contorted, hands twisted red, white, and blue napkins, and voices began to drop a few octaves as the up-and-down game in the final moments began to unravel for Stack and her teammates.
As the crowd held their breath, Canada changed their strategy into controlled-panic mode. Suddenly they scored, 2-1. USA still on top with under 2 minutes remaining.
Canada pulled their goalie from their goal and threw their full offensive pressure at Stack and her team.
Suddenly, Stack found the puck at the end of her stick, taking aim at an empty net at the far end of the ice. The crowd in Brooklyn Heights' Community Center all held their breath.
It clanked off the rail, just inches from being USA's 3rd point.
"USA was up in the last game and lost the lead, so we're holding our breath," said Jennifer Presot.
With under :53 left, Canada rushed USA's goal, somehow sending the puck into the net: Overtime.
In a matter of minutes, Canada scored, the crowd all holding their head in their hands. A gold medal opportunity for Kelli Stack was gone, as the television monitor showed a silver medal winning USA team in tears.
"Of course everybody just loves Kelli and she's done a great job. The entire team has. Bringing home the silver is still a pretty big deal, so everybody's still proud," said Donna Algeri who drove a bus load of well-wishing hockey fans to the center.