The Ed Stelmach Cup

Game #28: Oilers v. Hurricanes @ Northlands Coliseum

One of the highlights of my life was going-in on a mini-pack of Oilers tickets with some friends back in ’06-’07. We got the “Champions Pack” I think it was called. We saw the Red Wings, Hurricanes, and Ducks.

The Red Wings game was a clinic: I remember Jarret Stoll getting decked at centre ice by Nik Kronwall and then Pavel Datsyuk scoring off the turnover being pretty close to “rubbing it in.” The Ducks game was Chris Pronger’s first game back in Edmonton. We booed him every time he touched the puck. One time that asshole kept stickhandling the puck after the whistle just so we would keep booing him. Whatta dick.

The Hurricanes game though, was the one we had been waiting for. It was a re-match of the Cup Final. Many of us there were still depressed about the game 7 loss. I remember being nervous – not like first date nervous, more like getting a growing mole checked nervous – I wanted badly for the Oilers to redeem themselves.

Obviously, winning a regular season game against the Canes would in no way level the score. Those bastards made off with Stanley the last time we met, what could we possibly have to equal that?

Well. After 4 or maybe 5 Coliseum Beers (which we all know is laced with crack) we invented a new Championship Chalice: The Ed Stelmach Cup. I can’t remember who it was that said the name first. I think my friend who covered hockey with me for the University newspaper screamed at the top of his lungs: “Bring this one home for Eddie!” Who had just been elected to replace Ralph Klein as Premier of Alberta.

The entire section ate it up. The Ed Stelmach legacy was born.

I don’t have much resentment for the Hurricanes. I’ve tried. Both teams killed themselves for a chance to lift that cup I respect that the Canes had more in the tank. They had Dougie Weight too, seeing him barely be able to lift the Cup because of a separated shoulder placated me. And the playoff party all summer was unforgettable. There were so many fantastic moments: Hemsky eliminating the Red Wings, Roloson’s glove save on Cheechoo in OT against the Sharks, the crowd taking over the anthem during the Anaheim series, and, of course, this:

Goosebumps!

I remember being in the bar at Boston Pizza in St. Albert. The bartender had let me in even though I didn’t have ID. When Staios took that penalty at the beginning of the 1st overtime I thought the Oilers were done.

I nearly jumped through the window of the bar when Pisani roofed it over Ward’s shoulder. What a post-season that guy had. What a moment. Maybe one day I’ll write a longer post about it. For now though, suffice it to say: “Bring it home for Eddie tonight!”

Goilers.

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