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Toronto fans sing American national anthem after mic cuts out at Sabres-Leafs game

By Nick Veronica,

2023-03-14

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(WIVB) – Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs briefly paused their spirted rivalry with the Buffalo Sabres to share a moment of international camaraderie prior to Monday night’s game.

The microphone at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena appeared to malfunction before the singing of the national anthems. But the Canadian crowd sprung into action, picking up anthem singer Natalie Morris by belting out The Star Spangled Banner in unison .

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“That was a pretty special moment to be in Canada and hear the crowd singing our anthem,” Sabres coach (and Illinois native) Don Granato said, via NHL.com . “Hats off to the fans that were here. That will be a memorable thing I think for anybody that was in the building. What a great place this is. Lots of great people and they rose to the occasion at that moment.”

NHL teams typically play the national anthem each team’s home city prior to puck drop. If two American teams play against each other, the U.S. national anthem is played; if the game features two Canadians teams, the Canadian anthem is played (and sometimes in French); and if the game features one American team and one Canadian team, both anthems are typically played.

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Buffalo, however, is an exception: The Sabres always play both anthems before a home game, regardless of opponent. That fact was not lost on Monday night.

“We Canadians are a neighbourly folk,” ESPN hockey reporter Kristen Shilton tweeted . “Well done, Scotiabank crowd. And so fitting it happened against the Sabres, who play our anthem before every game.”

“Very neighbourly,” Sportsnet’s Caroline Cameron wrote , adding: “That’s neighbour, with a ‘u.'”

NHL.com wrote that Morris was given a different microphone before signing “O Canada.”

The Sabres won the game, 4-3, thanks in part to two goals from Alex Tuch, but remain on the outside looking in for the final wild card spot.

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