Skip to main content

From the long trip to Florida to filling the pubs, how Ottawa hockey fans are taking in Game 7


The Edmonton Oilers are one game away from clinching the Stanley Cup and fans like Cory Johnson will be in in the stands as his team attempts what could be one of the biggest comebacks in NHL history.

"We bought the tickets before the series started," said Johnson.

Ottawa resident Cory Johnson travelled from Ottawa to Florida for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to cheer on the Oilers. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)

He made the trip from Ottawa to Sunrise, Fl., saying seeing a Game 7 and seeing someone hoist the Stanley Cup has been on his bucket list from a young age.

The moment is still sinking in.

"It's only since we actually landed our plane," he said. "We jumped in the air and said this is really, really going to happen."

It's taken Johnson a day and a half to get to his destination and soon he'll be in the stands for what could be a historic moment for Canadian hockey.

"No matter what, someone's going to raise the Stanley Cup and I really hope that after all this it's Edmonton," Johnson said. "If I put in this much effort to get there, they better play some hockey."

It's been a whirlwind journey for Oilers nation. The team avoided elimination and a sweep in Game 4. Ottawa resident Dave Kurs was in Edmonton during that pivotal moment.

"I'm going to be crying at the end of the series regardless of what happens," he said. "Just from where they started the season and how they've had to get here, it'll be a little bit overwhelming."

The nerves are high for many; just ask Gio Malone. He's put up an Oilers flag outside his restaurant, Bello e Buono Café.

Gio Malone, an Ottawa chef and restaurateur, is a ball of nerves ahead of the Stanley Cup Final. (Jackie Perez/CTV News Ottawa)

"I woke up feeling like garbage, it's too much. It's stressful," he said.

The owner and chef says handling a restaurant doesn't compare to how nervous this Game 7 is making him.

He's decided to watch the game at home.

"I need to be alone... if I have to smash everything after, I need to do it at my own house. If they win? I'm still going to watch alone so my wife can see me as a maniac screaming all alone."

Oilers pride is popping up at bars throughout the city. The Senate on Wellington Street is completely booked, but have hit a roadblock. They're scrambling to get their TVs fixed after they were damaged in Sunday's heavy rainfall.

"Don't worry. We'll have the TV on," said bartender John Balser. "I promise you that. Our whole business model rests on having the TV's on tonight."

Puck drop is at 8 p.m. in Florida. Top Stories

Stay Connected