Fans in good cheer

AEDAN HELMER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:29 AM ET

While it wasn't quite the result Ottawa hockey fans were hoping for, with the Senators down two games to none in the Stanley Cup final, the faithful still turned out in droves to welcome their heroes home.

The Ottawa International Airport became temporary Sens Central yesterday when the team flight from Anaheim touched down just before 6 p.m.

A throng of jubilant fans lined Aviation Pwy., waving Sens flags and honking horns along the way.

"They need that energy from us," said fan Kurtis Barbeau, 25, who sported a dyed-red mohawk and a full playoff beard.

"Just showing up and supporting them, it helps," agreed Kyle Fourney, also 25. "It gives the team a huge morale boost."

More than 300 fans showed up to greet the players, who dished out high-fives as they drove by in sporty cars and SUVs. Goaltender Ray Emery, the Senators' undisputed star in Game 2, turning away 30 of 31 shots in a losing effort, was the last to leave in his distinctive white Hummer.

The Anaheim Ducks were also at the airport, their team bus escorted out by police with boos, jeers and catcalls ringing in their ears.

The turnout was not quite as large or as loud as it was two weeks ago, when the Senators returned to a heroes' welcome after defeating the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena.

"Sure, it was bigger then," said Barbeau. "But the bigger one will be when they come back after winning Game 7."

Fourney agreed, pointing out that the last few Stanley Cup finals have gone the distance.

"It's still close," he said. "We'll take the next two at home, and then it's a whole new series."


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