Wet 'n' wild!

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

The rained pelted down all around them, turning the Red Zone into the Wet Zone.

Still, the party went on unabated, the city-wide celebration unleashed by the Senators' first foray into the Stanley Cup final.

"I'd stand in the middle of a Category 5 hurricane to see them hoist the Cup," Brad Craig, 22, of Ottawa, said during the deluge that drenched the festivities last night at Scotiabank Place.

It has become the secondary story of this series, the massive outpouring of support that seems to grow with each day.

"I think it's amazing," said Rebecca Cullen, of Kanata, as she stood under the protection of an umbrella with her husband, Trevor.

LIKE A SMALL TOWN

"With something like this, it makes (Ottawa) seem like more of a small town. Everyone comes together and it's really fun."

Added Trevor Cullen: "The city has just really rallied. It's awesome to experience and be a part of all of this. It's once in a lifetime."

The Bank was again a raucous place by opening faceoff, the din ringing off each wall with the intensity and passion only a Cup final can bring.

"The first few years, it wasn't like this (in the playoffs), but it's gotten a lot crazier," said Neil McDonald, 16, of Williamstown. "It's great. It definitely feels like the Stanley Cup (final)."

McDonald and his friend, Steven Russell, were dressed as gladiators -- "standard battle attire," said Craig, who went for the same look alongside the Roman-style dress of his friend, Maeg Loyer.

"This is amazing," said Russell, 16, as he surveyed the scene. "It shows the true spirit (of the fans). I just love it."

Chris Wilson, who's part of a big family of Senators' diehards who regularly frequent Scotiabank Place, has also noticed the way fans have ratcheted up their support.

"(I remember) Game 2 of the last round, when (Joe) Corvo scored that overtime goal, I drove down Elgin St. and there was maybe 20-25 people," said Wilson, 25. "All of a sudden, we get to the final, and there's just this explosion of support.

"It's been 15 years waiting for this. It's 15 years of pent-up emotions, I guess."


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