News / Edmonton

Lucky fans score Oilers playoff tickets at rally

Hundreds turn out at Orange Crush event at Churchill Square

Blair Gladue, sporting a blue and orange clown wig, riled up fans during the Orange Crush event at Churchill Square Thursday.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Blair Gladue, sporting a blue and orange clown wig, riled up fans during the Orange Crush event at Churchill Square Thursday.

Rudy Lebell is making sure his family burns a shark plushie Thursday night as he watches the Oilers battle the San Jose Sharks at Rogers Place. 

“We forgot to burn the shark doll last time,” said Lebell, who scored a pair of playoff tickets Thursday afternoon during the Orange Crush rally at Churchill Square. 

“It’s just one of those rituals we have as a family.”

Lebell was among hundreds of fans chanting ‘Go Oilers!’ and ‘We want the cup!’ Thursday at the square. 

All of them were eyeing a pair of free tickets provided by the Oilers Entertainment Group, but Lebell was only one of five people that managed to clinch a pair. 

“I’m going to the Oilers game! I work in the best city in Canada!” Lebell shouted after accepting the coveted prize. “Thank you so much.”

He will sit fairly close to the front in the upper bowl. 

Hundreds of Oilers fans were out on Churchill Square Thursday.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Hundreds of Oilers fans were out on Churchill Square Thursday.

Following his win, he told Metro he believes his massive orange Oilers hat had something to do with organizers selecting him. 

“It’s funny,” he said. “My daughter was originally wearing the hat, but she wanted to wear my jersey so we traded.”

He’s still taking his daughter to the game, however.

“I’m so excited,” he said. “I’m just going to sit back and cheer on my team.”

But the vast majority of fans at Churchill were left empty-handed. 

“It’s been impossible to get a ticket,” said Karen Desjarlais, whose face was painted blue, noting ticket prices have gone for more than $500 each on sites like StubHub. 

“But it’s still very exciting, and it’s great to just be part of the energy.”

Oilers mascot Hunter the Lynx got the crowd riled up in Churchill Square Thursday afternoon.

Kevin Tuong / For Metro

Oilers mascot Hunter the Lynx got the crowd riled up in Churchill Square Thursday afternoon.

Blair Gladue, who was wearing a blue and orange clown wig, was also stoked to be at the event.

“I’m a superfan,” he said, after taking a break from banging his Oilers drum in an effort to rile up the crowd. 

“My passion comes from the heart, and I hope we make it past the first round and anything can happen from there.”

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