Fans fully embrace whiteout tradition at MTS Centre
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/04/2015 (2781 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Playoff-hungry hockey fans in Winnipeg created whiteout conditions Monday night at the MTS Centre. Jets fans graced the place wearing whatever they could find that was white — beekeeper suits, tuxedoes, bath robes, chefs hats, a bridal gown, meat-packer jumpsuits and haz-mat garb, with white wigs and beards for the finishing touch.
They broke out into spontaneous chants of “go Jets go” as a brass band played outside and those with tickets hurried inside to get out of the wind.
“We’re hoping they win,” said Justin Kiezik, bedazzling in a long white beard and all-white attire.
He expected fans to gather at Portage and Main after the game to celebrate. If they lose?
“There’s always Game 4.”
Chris Walsh was dressed for success. He rented a white tuxedo for $200 for the Jets playoff. “It’s a night to remember,” said Walsh, who hadn’t worn a tux since his wedding.
Brothers Jon and Darren Flett had safety in mind. They sported white hockey helmets for “protection” — for when the Jets win and “the roof lifts off the place,” Jon Flett said.
A male fan dressed as the Queen in a stunning white knee-length chiffon with a royal blue sash also had protection — two palace Beefeater guards wearing their signature tall fur hats — only in white instead of black, for a change.
They were serenaded with O Canada by the University of Manitoba brass and drum pep band, to the delight of leader Jon Dettner. He said of all the freakish fans who danced to the nine-piece band’s tunes outside the MTS Centre, playing for royalty was the highlight, he said. “That was the best.”
The band made up of U of M students and alumni played for nearly two hours before the game despite the bitter wind that made it feel like -7 C in downtown Winnipeg. They were rewarded with tickets to the playoff game, Dettner said.
Four chefs wearing aprons with dead rubber ducks draped over their shoulders salivated before the game expecting a waterfowl “feast,” said head chef Rahim Hosein while hoisting a frying pan.
As game time neared and the whiteout of Jets supporters flocked to their seats, two Anaheim Ducks fans arrived just before the puck dropped. They said they didn’t expect to be the main course at the MTS Centre.
“The fans here are pretty mellow,” predicted Becky Brydges from St. Paul, Minn. She who took her son Zach, 14, out of school to attend the Ducks playoff game in Winnipeg. Zach said when told his friends he and his mom were heading north in their Ducks jerseys to cheer for Anaheim in Jets territory, they found it “shocking.”
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.
Updated on Monday, April 20, 2015 7:07 PM CDT: Adds Walsh quote.
Updated on Monday, April 20, 2015 7:46 PM CDT: Updates with fan comments, adds slideshow.
Updated on Monday, April 20, 2015 9:20 PM CDT: Writethru.
Updated on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 12:06 AM CDT: Adds video.