'We really needed this'

ROB BRODIE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:43 AM ET

Their beloved team might have gone down to defeat last night, but members of the Sens Army are vowing to soldier on with their heads held high.

"We never give up," said fan Matt Kassner, 19. "We'll never give up until the Sens win the Cup. Even then, we won't give up until they win it three times in a row."

That was a familiar sentiment among the hordes of faithful fans who gathered along the Sens Mile last night to watch as the Anaheim Ducks captured the Stanley Cup with a 6-2 win.

While previous Senators playoff exits have been greeted with disappointment around the city, there's a different feeling this time around.

JOY OF HOCKEY

"The fact they've made it this far is golden," said Angela Abraham, who was doing her best to rev up the red with friends Kristina Barakat and Anusha Sahgal. "Look at the fans ... nobody is beating down on (the team)."

Joey Gunn, a downtown resident, has seen the joy and pride this ride to the Stanley Cup final has brought out in the city, and says it's been all good.

"Absolutely," he said. "At the end of the day, this is the Stanley Cup (final). Not many teams get this far.

"With the bunch of ghosts we've had with this team in the past, we really needed this. God love 'em."

Early last night, fans weren't willing to concede the team's run might be ending sooner than they'd hoped.

"We have to keep believing, no matter what ... hope and faith," Barakat said.

While the crowds were thinner along Elgin St. and at Festival Plaza, what they lacked in numbers they made up for in passionate support.

Fans clad in red were abundant as ever, and horns began blaring along the Sens Mile an hour before game time.

Clearly, these fans were still keeping the faith.

"We do have that. Look at us," said Sahgal, 20, of the red-painted faces she and her friends displayed.

At Festival Plaza, Stanley Cup replicas were still very much in evidence. Nobody was willing to accept the dream might be over.

"I think they really want to (believe)," Gunn said of the mood among the diehards gathered in front of City Hall. "I believe. We can (come back). Other teams have done it before. Why not us?"

His son, Cullen, and friend Jackson Pickard -- both 8 and dressed as mini-gladiators -- both heartily agreed.

"Edmonton was down 3-1 (in last year's final) and they went to Game 7," added Owen Hopkins, 19, a tinfoil Stanley Cup in hand.


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