Colorado Avalanche: Following the Team to Edmonton

EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 22: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 22, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 22: J.T. Compher #37 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Edmonton Oilers on February 22, 2018 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images) /

I traveled to Canada to watch the Colorado Avalanche in enemy territory three times. Second stop: Edmonton.

Part two of the three part Canadian road swing. Edmonton was much colder than Vancouver; however we rented a car so getting around was much easier. The West Edmonton Mall is where we spent most of the first day… getting lost. We walked past three Aldo stores. It was not a total loss though, we had Poutine for the first time and it’s probably the best thing I have ever had.

After getting lost we decided to try the ice castles, where I got asked if I was at least 18 to sign the consent. I’m 25.  Next to the ice castles was a frozen pond, which I got to skate on. It was probably my favorite part of our trip because I had never skated on a frozen pond before.

More from Mile High Sticking

Edmonton has a new building, Rogers Place. It is a beautiful building right by downtown. They unfortunately did not have tours available while we were there. Instead to kill time before the game, we decided to go to a smaller shopping center. The town center, it’s still a three story shopping center with many stores… including an Aldo store.

As we were walking through the shopping center we saw many hockey fans, not many wearing Oiler or Avalanche jerseys. A man with a very nice mustache walked out of the bathroom and asked, “Are you ladies going to the game tonight?”

We responded, “Why yes we are.  Are you?”  and by this point we had heard so many “Go Oilers” comments that was what we were expecting.

To our surprise he replied, “Yes I am, we will be rooting for the same team, Tyson Jost is my nephew!”.

Wow what are the odds we would run into Tyson Jost’s uncle! Come to find out he owned a coffee shop in the area and gave us a discount and an upgrade in size. He told us, “Watch out for me tonight, maybe I can get you back to meet Tyson!” Of course Tyson’s family is nice — that must be where he gets it from. He also advised me to buy a Jost jersey to replace my Compher jersey…

As we got closer to the building the Oilers fans started taking over. It felt just like being in Denver because it was a sea of Orange and Blue (Denver Broncos) and feeling like the odd ball out. We asked a group of Oiler fans to take our picture in front of the Wayne Gretzky statue. They at first said no, until they read my sign that we were in town from Colorado, and agreed to take our picture right away.

Finally game time. The Oilers building has railing all the way up the isle separating the seats behind the benches from the seats around the end. The ushers do not allow you by the benches unless you have a ticket, even for warm ups. That was fine — Leslee and I found a place by the end around the corner and put my sign up. We found a couple fans we had seen at the last game and they said they were going the same swing we were.

An NHL photographer walked over to Leslee and I and handed us two pucks. She said, “I don’t know what these are for but that guy said to give them to you.” Leslee and I looked over to see the equipment guy waving, Aww thanks equipment guy! As warm ups were about to start the usher for the section we were in said we had to sit down and were not able to stand at the glass during warms ups and might have to move our signs.

I would not have had a problem with this except for the fact we looked over towards the Oilers side and saw rows deep of fans standing with multiple signs. So visiting fans are not allowed to stand or have signs? Yet home fans are? To say the least that did not sit right with us. She even yelled at the people that had the glass seats to sit, and the children standing at the glass next to them.

The game was interesting, good puck movement and shots. Another overtime game for our trip to Canada. Sadly the ending was not the one we were hoping for. Lucky for us the guy next to us bought us beer and had nice conversations about hockey. He was very shocked to find out he was talking to a couple of Americans the entire game.

We never saw Tyson Jost’s uncle at the game, so we started calling him Tyson’s funcle (fake uncle). Till we asked Tyson about it about a month later and he said that was in fact his uncle.

Next: Following the Colorado Avalanche to Vancouver

The last point I have to make about Edmonton…. Connor McDavid, is so creepy there. He is on a billboard on every street corner. We were having dinner at a pizza place and through the slats of the window covering all I could see were Connor McDavid’s eyes staring at me. I now call him Connor McCreeper. Thanks Edmonton.

On to part three of the trip… Calgary.