Oilers super fan makes the trip from Camden East to Edmonton to witness playoff victory

Alannah Sanford at ice level at Edmonton's Rogers Place before Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Submitted photo.

Adam Prudhomme

Every good Stanley Cup run is rooted in superstition and the Edmonton Oilers may have found their good luck charm, some 3,700 kms away in Camden East teen Alannah Sanford.

Down two games to one in the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Stars, their luck turned on a dime when 14-year-old Sanford appeared at Rogers Place on May 29 to cheer on The Oil.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Oilers rallied for five unanswered to lock up a 5-2 victory and even up the series. They never looked back from there, closing out the series with two more wins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Attending the game was a dream come true for Sanford, one that was made possible through hard work and community support.

Shortly after the Oilers’ thrilling Game 7 win in the second round, Sanford was determined to see the team play live in the Western Conference Finals.

“Since I was a kid I always loved the Edmonton Oilers, I watched them with my dad all the time,” she said. “When they finally made it to the playoffs I was like I really want to go. I really want to see it in person.”

As a former Edmonton native, she still has friends and family in the city who were able to provide a place to stay. Her mom Tiffany was onboard with the idea of her going to see a game but told her she’d have to raise the money for plane fare and tickets. And that’s what she did through car washes, a bottle drive, a lemonade stand and generous donations from the community, including a donation of plane tickets from Jason’s Moving.

Always a dedicated fan, she says she wasn’t worried when the team fell behind 2-0 in the first.

“I’ve seen them come back in games a lot,” she said. “I feel like at home games they do a lot better when they’re down.”

During warm ups she had the chance to go down to ice level, where she says her home made sign caught the attention of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who have her a nod.

“Getting up close and being able to see the players up close,” she says was her most memorable part, as well as how loud it can get in an arena packed with rowdy Oiler fans. “It got up to almost 112 decibels in there.”

She’ll continue to cheer loud from Camden East as she hopes the Oilers can end Canada’s 30-year Stanley Cup drought.

The experience has given her a new found appreciation for community spirit and she plans to gather more beer cans to raise money for the local food bank.

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