101216 Senators vs Maple Leafs, Ottawa, ON

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I used to live (almost) next door to Spartacat, the mascot of the Ottawa Senators hockey franchise.  Sparty (as he is known to legions of fans) is an all-around cool cat and I was disappointed when he moved away to be closer to the hockey rink.

His brother still lives there though, and he’s a pretty cool cat himself.  So cool in fact that he brought me along to watch his costumed sibling lead the crowd through the Sen’s home opener against the evil Toronto Maple Leafs, a team eager to show off their new first-round draft pick, some kid named Auston Matthews.

As always, the place was full of Leafs jerseys.  Grrr…I hate that!  Every time Toronto or Montreal comes to town you know there will be more fans for the visiting team than for the hometown Senators.  And I suppose until the Sens have been around (continuously) for several generations it will stay that way.

There was a particularly obnoxious line of Leafers sitting two rows in front of us and my neighbour met all their trash-talk with plenty of his own.  They cheered when the new kid Matthews scored his first NHL goal – I didn’t see it because the whole annoying row of blue jerseys stood up whenever the action got actiony.

They did it again for Matthews’ second goal and again for his third.  Wow, a hat trick in the guy’s first NHL game, that’s pretty impressive.  I wish I had seen one of them go in.  

When the idiots stood up and blocked Auston Matthews’ fourth goal from my view I almost said something.  I swore I’d say something after his next goal (sometimes I’m almost too Canadian), but fortunately the kid was done scoring for the night.

Of course the greatest part of the night was when Ottawa won the game 5-4 in overtime (you should have heard the trash talk) despite Auston’s truly astounding (or so I assumed from my non-vantage point) performance in his NHL debut.

And the part where Spartacat came to our seats with hi-fives flying and sat on my lap.

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