Fans pack Sens Mile for series clincher

With six minutes left in the third period of Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, the crowd on Sens Mile was already singing.

Fans pack Sens Mile for series clincher
People reacting after the second goal from the sens watching the game at Hooley's on Elgin Street in Ottawa for Game 5 of the quarterfinals between Montreal and Ottawa. (Bruno Schlumberger/The Ottawa Citizen)

BY TERESA SMITH

OTTAWA — With six minutes left in the third period of Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, the crowd on Sens Mile was already singing.

“Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye” to the Habs.

Hello to Round two of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Waving her Senators towel on the street outside Maclaren’s sports bar, Pierrette Andrews, 54, said the boys in red had played well all series.

“They deserve it,” she said. And she’s looking forward to the next match up.

“I think it’s going to be Boston — and, if I’m right, I’ll start praying right now,” Andrews said. “That one’ll be nasty.”

Andrews, who usually watches the game on a patio at the corner of Sparks and Bank streets, said she plans to spend the rest of the playoffs on Elgin Street. “There’s a lot more excitement here. It is the Sens Mile, after all.”

It would seem the rest of the city agrees.

The lineup outside Maclaren’s started half an hour before the game, and it lasted well into the second period.

José Ascanio, 29, who was working the door, said the crowd was generally in a good mood.

“I like the playoffs — people are happy to be out,” Ascanio said. “The atmosphere is joyous.”

After the game, Ascanio was heading to his second job at Pub 101 in the ByWard Market.

“I bet I’ll see lots of these people down there. Especially if (the Senators) win, people will want to celebrate.”

And celebrate they will.

“Ottawa’s an exciting place to live right now,” said Scott McCord, 33, who hosts the morning show on The Bear radio station.

Gesturing to the crowd of red-clad fans surrounding him in line at Maclaren’s, McCord stopped short of calling his favourite team “the team of destiny”, but he does think they have a shot at the Cup.

“It sounds cliché to say you’ve got to take it one game at a time, but you have to,” McCord said. “Don’t look at this as a game that can clinch the series. Think of it as a game we can win.”

Down the line a bit, Shayan Kolaei, 22, waved his Senators flag high as people across the street hollered and gave him the thumbs up.

He had just bought this flag after the last one ripped when he took it driving through the city with his brother.

“I love the reaction I get from everybody — police officers, ambulance drivers, bus drivers — everybody in the city of Ottawa is with us,” said the Algonquin College student.

Minutes before the Senators won the game, Jeremy Batt, 23 raised a glass to a tableful of Senators fans at the Fox and Feather.

He scoffed at the notion that the joyful Sens fans might take to the streets.

“If they do, it won’t be so bad. It’s Ottawa, it’s never so bad … Montreal, on the other hand …”

Batt left the possibility hanging in the air as the Sens scored their final goal of the night and the bar erupted in joy.

tesmith@ottawacitizen.com
twitter.com/tsmithjourno

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