Soldiers game for Canadian champ

JON WILLING -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:34 AM ET

Master Cpl. Mike Trancoso was originally a Habs fan, but even he admits it would be nice to see the Stanley Cup paraded in downtown Ottawa.

Because his rotation in Afghanistan won't finish until August, the Ottawa man won't have a chance to witness the celebration firsthand if the Senators win the Cup.

"It would be nice if I could see the Cup going down Bank St. or Elgin St.," Trancoso said in a phone interview from Kandahar yesterday.

Trancoso, 39, said he and his fellow soldiers have been trying to keep up with the NHL playoffs, especially now since Canada is represented in the finals.

A highlight for Trancoso was the recent visit to Kandahar by former NHL players, who brought the Stanley Cup to the troops.

Trancoso, who has a wife, Lesley, and two young girls, Kathryn and Lauren, in Ottawa, said he chewed the ear off former Sens goalkeeper Ron Tugnutt during the alumni visit.

"By the end of it, I almost felt like I was a reporter," Trancoso said, calling Tugnutt a "great person."

Hockey is one topic the troops discuss to take their minds off the challenge of bringing peace to the Afghan people.

"The boys talk about their hockey pools," Trancoso said, adding they try to take in the odd game on one of the televisions available to the troops.


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