Home fire burns bright

NADIA MOHARIB --Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:00 PM ET

 Call it the Flaming Mo.

 The Flames have all the momentum heading into the team's first home playoff game in eight years today.

  With a 2-1 win on Friday, Calgary not only claimed its first post-season victory since 1995, it evened the best-of-seven first-round Stanley Cup playoff series at a game apiece.

 Which means fans will be blowing the roof off the sold-out Saddledome by the time the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

 Long before gametime, however, fans will form a sea of red around the 'Dome and superfan Travis Flaig plans to make a statement by cruising around in his so-called Flames-mobile.

 "I sacrificed my everydayer and it will stay this way even after we have the Cup in our hands," he said yesterday, referring to the 1984 Chev Impala he and friends custom-painted in Flames colours to inspire hockey fever.

 While his efforts don't go unnoticed by fellow fans -- who lean out windows and cheer or honk horns -- even Flaig's parents figure he may have taken it too far.

 "They asked 'What the heck did you do to your car?' and my girlfriend is afraid to drive it," said an unrepentant Flaig.

 Coyotes saloon, CJAY 92 and the Sun, meanwhile, have planned a full day of festivities for Flames boosters.

 The 'Ultimate Rally' kicks off at 3 p.m. at 1088 Olympic Way and paves the way for the city's first 'March to the Saddledome.'

 "I'm probably one of the Flames' biggest (fans) and I'm leading that march with a Flames tattoo in the middle of my forehead," said organizer Adam Woodward.

 The pep rally includes a 'Smash the Canuck Car' event, where participants can pay $5 for a chance to take a mallet to a car painted in dreaded Canucks colours.

 Proceeds will go to the CJAY 92 Kids Fund.

 One eager fan already got a head start and made a dent in the Canucks car plans.

 "We got the car on Friday and had to put it under a blanket, because some kid already smashed it," Woodward said.

 Police will be on the sidelines as Olympic Way is closed down for hundreds of fans expected to march to the 'Dome, said Woodward, who hopes team supporters will flock to the streets as a regular community event during home playoff games.


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