Sportress of Blogitude

Gritty posed for pics at Lake Tahoe wedding before Flyers-Bruins game

The NHL loomed large over the Lake Tahoe area this past weekend, and in one instance slightly interfered with one young couple’s wedding.

At least the newlyweds impacted by the Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins tilt on Sunday, Feb. 21 held court following their nuptials with two NHL mascots, including the wildly popular and slightly terrorizing Philadelphia Flyers mascot Gritty.

Brianna and Austyn Rowland tied the knot Sunday at the Lake Tahoe resort where the NHL’s constructed rink for Saturday and Sunday’s games loomed in the background. When the NHL had to reschedule Sunday’s Flyers-Bruins game due to deteriorating ice conditions caused by the bright sunlight, it somewhat conflicted with the Rowland’s ceremony.

While the couple were able to go ahead with the wedding, the game, originally scheduled for noon but bumped back to 4:30, was about to be played within eye-shot of the ceremony.

“We were excited that we were having a wedding at the same time as an iconic game,” Brianna Rowland told ESPN this week. “But honestly, we just didn’t want hockey players walking through the middle of the ceremony.”

The NHL thoughtfully attempted to make amends for the unavoidable situation by inviting the couple down near the rink to take some post-nuptial photographs. The league escorted the Rowlands in a golf cart under a blanket to the side of the rink reserved for the media.

That’s when Gritty — the googly-eyed, orange and oddly mesmerizing mascot who made his debut during the 2018-19 NHL season and has since rocketed to superstardom thanks to his madcap antics — made its appearance alongside Bruins mascot Blades.

“We took a photo by ourselves, and then they ran up and jumped in,” Brianna Rowland said of the two NHL mascots.

It sounds like the mascots were quite particular about a few of the photographs taken, too.

“They didn’t want one with Austyn in it,” Brianna Rowland said, laughing.