Hot stuff at the Bank

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

Shannon O'Connor thought the Sens Mile was the place she wanted to be last night to watch her favourite hockey team.

But the Stanley Cup final can inspire crazy ideas in the mind of a young hockey fan.

"This was a better offer," said O'Connor, 20, of the hot tub she shared outside Scotiabank Place with five friends from Barrhaven.

"I like being here. The water's warm, there's a nice big screen TV over there (on the edge of the Red Zone)."

Some warm-up for the Senators' first modern-day appearance in the Stanley Cup final, one might say.

Their hockey heroes were thousands of kilometres away in Anaheim, but the Bank still felt like home for a boisterous bunch of Sens diehards to gather for Game 1 of the final.

Inside the building, where about 3,000 mostly young fans caught the game on the arena scoreboard, there were familiar sights and sounds.

OPP Const. Lyndon Slewidge was brought in to sing the national anthems. The horns blared when the Senators opened the scoring in the second minute, followed by a hearty chorus of Woo Hoo.

Stanley Cup replicas, naturally, were abundant.

"I just made it on the weekend. It took me four hours," said Robert Pellerin, 47, of Ottawa, about his tinfoil-covered chalice.

For teenage buddies Colin Hodge and Austin Delavio of Stittsville -- both wearing gold gladiator helmets -- it was the perfect place to share their Sens pride.

"I come out to almost every game now," said Hodge, 15. "It's been a blast, it's fun. It brings everyone together as one."

Added Delavio, 16: "I wanted to be around other Sens fans. It's better than watching it in the basement with just a few other people."

Cup crazy also meant more of the wild attire fans have made a habit of wearing to home games. Then again, Stanley Cup finals don't come along every day here.

"Extraordinary. Fantastic. Amazing," Pellerin said about being a part of the historic night.

And what better an occasion, O'Connor and her friends thought, to break out the bikinis and soak it all in.

Even if there was a bit of a chill in the spring air.

"Well, it's 102 degrees," O'Connor said of the temperatures in the hot tub.

"It's nice to be here with all these Sens fans."

"We're all big Sens fans" added Beth MacDonald, 20. "There's a big screen over there ... we've got a good view of the game."

Not just any game, either.


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