Hockey fans gather to send off Acadie-Bathurst Titan ahead of Memorial Cup
Hockey fans donning their Titan garb lined the fences of the Bathurst airport on Wednesday to give a proper send off to the city’s beloved hockey team heading to the Memorial Cup.
“I’m just feeling wonderful today,” said Titan fan Fred Best. “The excitement, the jubilation, it’s so nice. It’s been 20 years.”
Many were still riding the high of Acadie-Bathurst Titan’s President’s Cup win earlier this week.
“I had to go home and take a tranquilizer,” laughed Winnie Fitzpatrick-Gallant. “I was that excited and that happy. It was surreal for me.”
The Acadie-Bathurst Titan are heading to the Memorial Cup in Regina for the first time since 1999.
Wednesday’s send-off was very much a joyous occasion, however, the Humboldt tragedy and the Boys in Red were in the backs of the minds of many. Prayers were recited as the plane took-off.
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Players are wearing green ribbons on their jersey’s in support of the Humboldt community after 16 team members died in a bus crash. It’s a tragedy Bathurst understands all too well.
Ten years ago, a van accident claimed the lives of seven basketball players and their coach’s wife.
“It’s a big country, but we’re all small communities in that big country and we all share the same values — Canadian values — and I think that through our sport we demonstrate those values,” says Bathurst Mayor Paolo Fongemie.
Though Bathurst continues to show support for western Canada, they still have a cup to win. Along with that comes high hopes.
“They’re coming back with the cup. There’s no question,” laughed Fongemie
The Memorial Cup runs from May 18-27 and at the Brandt Centre in Regina, Sask.
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