Costa Rica or Edmonton? Ontario couple chooses whirlwind trip to see Oilers in Stanley Cup final

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Oilers fan travels 12,637 km to see Games 3 and 4'
Edmonton Oilers fan travels 12,637 km to see Games 3 and 4
Edmonton Oilers fans can be found all over the world and a select few will really go the distance to get to a playoff game. Jaclyn Kucey found one dedicated fan who travelled 18 hours from Australia just to see the team in the Stanley Cup final – Jun 13, 2024

For the first time in 18 years, a Stanley Cup final game is about to be played in Edmonton and the excitement in the city is palpable.

Hockey fans are coming from far and wide to cheer on the Edmonton Oilers, including Richard Fairhead who flew all the way to Oil Country from Brisbane, Australia (via Vancouver) to attend Games 3 and 4.

“I’m a very diehard fan,” Fairhead said as he arrived at YEG Thursday morning after a 19-hour journey.

Richard Fairhead flew from Australia to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final. Courtesy / Richard Fairhead

Originally from Edmonton, Fairhead moved to Australia 16 years ago and has been following the team from afar ever since. During this playoff run, Fairhead has been watching the games in the middle of the day from work.

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“Very little work is getting done. There’s one screen that’s got the game on. There’s usually a lot of cheering and a little bit of cursing at the same time.”

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The minute the Oilers secured their place in the Stanley Cup final, Fairhead booked his trip home.

“I was flying for work. I landed. There was eight minutes left. We won the game. I went through security, booked my (airline) tickets right then and there. Didn’t have tickets to the game, didn’t care, and here I am. We managed to get tickets for both 3 and 4,” he explained.

Click to play video: 'Meet Mama Stanley, the passionate Edmonton Oilers fan'
Meet Mama Stanley, the passionate Edmonton Oilers fan

Fairhead has never been to Rogers Place, and is pumped to see what the playoff atmosphere is like and how it compares to the last time the team made it all the way to the Stanley Cup final.

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That was 18 years ago. Fairhead went to a game in the third round of that series and the environment was electric inside the city’s former arena.

“It was incredible,” he recalled.

“It was Game 3 , triple overtime and I swear the roof came off Northlands Coliseum and I’m really hoping that that’s going to happen again.”

Richard Fairhead flew from Australia to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4 of the Stanley Cup final. Courtesy / Richard Fairhead

While it might not be as far of a journey, one Ontario couple is on a whirlwind trip to Edmonton for Game 3.

Stacey Griffin and John Hoekstra left London, Ont., early Thursday morning for a day trip to Edmonton to see their team in the playoffs.

“Two hours to the airport, a four-hour flight. A four-hour flight back and two hours back (home),” Hoekstra explained. “We flew out of Toronto at 8:50 a.m. and we hop back on the plane at 12:50 a.m. tonight.

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“We could have gone to Costa Rica for a week but we thought we’d come to Edmonton for 11 hours.”

The puck drops just after 6 p.m. Thursday, on Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final between the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.

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