How Rogers GamePlus™ helped two Ottawa fans experience the magic of an outdoor game
Julie Dejardins couldn’t wait to tell her son, Alex, they were going to see his favourite team – the Ottawa Senators – play in the NHL® 100 Classic™.
A hockey family, the Dejardins already spend a lot of their time inside hockey rinks.
“Hockey is our life,” says Julie. “It’s just part of who we are.”
As winners in the Rogers GamePlus™ “100 Years 100 Fans” Contest – which is awarding fans across the country with VIP experiences in celebration of the NHL® Centennial – Julie and Alex were set to cheer on their hometown team, who were hosting their first-ever outdoor game.
The news Julie had won the contest was a welcome surprise. “I was so excited. I think my 11-year-old son was even more excited,” she says. “He just dropped to the ground and started crying.”
Before the game, the pair – along with fellow winners Cari Cleyn, Robertson Mitchell, Garrison Lane, Claire Buske, Sarah Sharpe-Smith, Vinay Hingorani, Warren Dunlop and Norbert Kealey, all of Ottawa, and John Cooper of Kanata, Ont. – were brought down below the stadium to welcome and high-five the Senators as they made their way from the dressing room to the ice.
“It was so surreal watching them all come by, and seeing [my son] watching the players come out was just so special,” she says.
Not to be outdone, the visiting Montreal Canadiens also had support in the stands from another group of GamePlus winners: Tina Durocher of Gatineau, Que.; Jenna Sylvester of Ottawa; Olivier Gendron of Sainte-Martine, Que.; Anik Viau of LaSalle, Que.; and Marco Vallée, Luis Bola, Greg Félix, Charles Pelletier, Nuno Martins and Sébastien Perron, all of Montreal.
Each winner was given a ticket to the game, as well as Sportsnet™ toques and blankets to keep warm as they braved the -20˚C (!) weather.
For Alex, a lifelong Senators fan, watching his favourite player – Bobby Ryan – in action was the most exciting. And for Julie, it was a night she’ll never forget. “This was the experience of a lifetime.”