Ottawa Senators fan Keila Penner from Lachine, Que., arrives in a limo, provided by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, at Scotiabank Place before her team takes on the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff action in Ottawa, May 7, 2013. (ERROL McGIHON/QMI Agency)
OTTAWA - You think the battleground in the series between the Senators and Montreal Canadiens is tough?
Apparently, the playground of a school in Lachine is pretty rugged, too.
Meet 11-year-old Keila Penner. She’s a Senators fan, living in Montreal in a family of Senators fans. Her dad, Cary, used to live in Vanier.
Last Thursday, to celebrate the opening of the Montreal-Ottawa playoff series, students at Maple Grove Elementary School, just outside Montreal, were told they could ditch their uniforms and wear a Canadians jersey. Penner wore her Senators jersey — with pride.
There was some taunting, the typical “Senators suck” verbal jabs ... then the kid was called into the principal’s office and given three options: Call her dad and go home, take the jersey off and put a white shirt on or put on a Canadiens jersey.
A diehard Senators fan, she called Cary and spent the day at home ... unhappy, let down by people who should know better.
Beyond the five cents that Keila won in a bet when the Senators beat the Habs, there is a happy ending. Enter Eugene Melnyk. The Senators owner was sickened when he heard the story of a young Senators fan who had been wronged.