Dream ride to finals

ANN MARIE MCQUEEN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:38 AM ET

Dave LePage has been a familiar sight in the Byward Market and Elgin St. areas for almost two weeks now: All smiles and thumbs-up at the wheel of his wife's maroon convertible Ford Mustang decorated with Ottawa Senators decals and an inflatable Stanley Cup perched in the back seat, Stompin' Tom Connors' The Hockey Song blaring from the stereo.

"We park in front of all these places with the open-air bars," explains LePage. "The people just love it. They start to sing."

LePage's new hobby took hold on May 19, when he and his wife Nancy attended their first Sens car rally, joining a group of 80 vehicles driving from Lynx Stadium to Scotiabank Place. A few hours later, the Sens won the Eastern Conference championship and LePage headed downtown.

VICTORY PARADE

On Monday, he dolled the car up. The 66-year-old father of two grown children, who runs a business servicing pools, has missed just one day since -- when it rained.

LePage has an ulterior motive to all this exposure, revealed only when he flips up a plain picket sign tucked in to his back seat. He's been a longtime fan of Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson.

"I'd like to drive Alfie in the Stanley Cup parade," he says.

As for Nancy, who occasionally joins her more gregarious husband, one word sums up her opinion of his daily playoff drives.

"Crazy," she says, laughing.

Out of character?

"No, this is quite on par with his lifestyle," she says.

LePage bought his wife the Mustang after she had a heart attack in a Florida airport while returning from vacation three years ago.

Things were touch and go there for a while down in Orlando, and after a lot of "crying and praying," when Nancy could speak, she confessed to her husband of 45 years: "I always thought before I died I'd have a nice Mustang convertible like we had when we were married."

These days, they like to joke Nancy manipulated her way into owning her dream car.

"I did it on purpose," she says with a laugh.

VEGAS BET

LePage plans to continue his one-man parade until the hockey season is over. And he confesses he has a little more on the line when it comes to the Sens winning than just being a fan and aspiring to drive Alfie in a parade.

Last year in Las Vegas, when the odds of their winning the Stanley Cup were just six to one, he put $200 on the Sens.

"So if they win," says LePage, "I get $1,200, plus the $200 I put down."


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