Mile packed with smiles

ALEX HEBERT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

While thousands of Sens fans yearned for the Stanley Cup on the Sens Mile last night, many would have settled for a spot at a bar to watch the game.

By 5:30 p.m., Maclaren's was packed and had a line nearly a block long -- as was the case with most bars showing the game.

"I hate my life right now," said Meredith Smith, 21, who was waiting in line at St. Louis Bar and Grill while her friends cheered wildly inside.

"I got off work an hour early for this. I had to lie to my boss," she said. Behind her, cars drove by honking, face-painted fans screamed and even dogs paraded by in Sens jerseys.

Inside St. Louis, Peter Monsour, 24, had a front row table near one of the two TVs on the patio. Before the game they led the cheers to get the crowd fired up.

"I got a table at 4:30," he said while enjoying suds and wings. "I've loved the Senators since they got here in '92."

The capacity crowd sang along to O Canada and erupted in cheers when the Sens showed up onscreen.

Upon the Sens' first goal, the entire crowd rose to their feet, screaming, cheering and hugging one another.

Cameron Bishop, 28, one of the Sens Mile organizers, revelled in the joy of the fans as he watched the game.

"It's refreshing to see everyone out cheering for the boys," he said with a smile. "You walk down the street and it's just wild."

Bishop was especially proud of the Sens Mile road signs that had been placed above the Elgin St. signs at the Somerset St. intersection.

But not everyone was rooting for the Sens. Derek Creppin, 22, received a bar's worth of dirty looks when he cheered for the Ducks' first goal.

"I like the way the Ducks play," said the Ottawa native. "I'm pretty comfortable among a sea of Sens fans."

But he couldn't have been that confident -- he left his Ducks jersey at home.


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