Calgary was abuzz on Wednesday as the Flames defeated the Dallas Stars 3-1 to take Game 5 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Photographer Ose Irete was at the Saddledome to capture the C of Red in action.
With the series tied 2-2, the game was a must win for both sides, and Flames fans came out in large numbers to support their team.
A full Saddledome was buzzing, and outside the arena was no different. Fans made their voices heard at the Red Lot, a parking lot just outside the arena converted into a fan zone.
Jordan Tremblay was part of a group of fans tailgating just outside the Red Zone.
Tremblay, pictured below, says during the playoffs the Red Lot is the place to be.
“If you can’t get in the building but you can be out here in the sun, everyone around, that’s what it’s all about.”
He believes this is bigger than hockey for Calgarians, who have felt the effects of the pandemic the last couple of years.
“It’s huge for the city! It gets everyone together, especially after the last few years we’ve had. This is what we need.”
Nelson Liem, pictured below with his children and his partner, Jessica, is happy to be able to share the experience of the playoffs with his kids. Liem hopes memories like this make them lifelong Flames fans.
“It’s all about creating a memorable experience,” he said.
Britt Jordan, pictured below, is a Stars fan who moved to Calgary from Dallas in January. For Jordan, the atmosphere around the Flames is a big change from being a hockey fan in Dallas.
“In Dallas, everyone’s big football fans. Most people are cheering for the Cowboys and not the Stars. So it’s cool to see the whole city come out and really get into it.”
Spirits were still high after a scoreless first period, but a second period Stars goal had Flames fans on edge.
Goalie Jacob Markstrom’s heroic 20-save performance and third period goals from Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangiapane and Trevor Lewis helped the home team secure victory.
The Flames won 3-1, bringing relief and joy of those in the arena.
Darian Daychief, pictured below, is a Flames fan from Edmonton.
“I love the energy here. I’m scared to walk around Edmonton with a Calgary jersey without getting some hate,” Daychief said laughing.
She says she’ll be going back home happy after the Flames won and the Oilers lost their Game 5 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Her prediction for the Flames playoff run?
“I hope they can take it all the way.”
The Flames head to Dallas for Game 6 on Friday, when they have a chance to clinch the series.