Jillian and Taryn Smith had never been to a Maple Leafs game before their sister won tickets to Monday’s game through a Star contest.
“She was like no questions, you have to go, I’m not even picking up the tickets,” they said of their sister Haley, who has seen a game.
Jillian and Taryn, who were born in Toronto but grew up in China, just recently moved back to Toronto, just in time for the Leafs’ first playoff push in nine years.
“When all the Leafs first came out, I couldn’t stop crying,” said Jillian, who submitted a losing photo to the contest with Taryn.
But Jillian had also called her sister Haley and asked her to submit a photo to the Star’s Go Leafs Go contest, which asked readers to submit creative pictures using our Go Leafs Go banner to win tickets.
Ten photos were picked as the best, and 15 random draw winners also won tickets.
Jillian said her sister didn’t really have time to submit a creative photo – she had other plans, with friends, to watch the Blue Jays play.
“I told her to print off like 20 of the banners and take a shot at the game,” said Jillian.
It worked. The Star chose that picture as one of the 10 winners and published it in Monday’s paper.
At the game Monday, the two sisters were trying to keep up with two other Star contest winners sitting next to them – Devyn Farrugia and his friend Connor Moss.
“I mean, this guy has a horse head on!” said Taryn, referring to Farrugia, who won by being the first picture entered. “We’re competing as best we can.”
A few seats away, Steve Vandervalde was trying to contain his anger as his wife Jennifer – a Bruins fan – continued to cheer, and cheer, as Boston beat up Toronto.
“I’m starting to get pretty mad,” he said, playfully scorning her just after the Bruins went up 4-1.
Jennifer laughed, giving him a playful push as she said the rivalry is “the only issue in our marriage.”
Steve, who won for a photo of his 1-year-old daughter happy in a Leafs jersey and upset in a Bruins jersey, laughed, conceding he may be a “little too competitive.”
A little further down the line, the atmosphere was dire – Paul and Ted Stratas were really, really hoping for a Leafs victory and fell into silence as the boys left the ice down by three after two periods.
“We’re getting our chances, but they’re just not going in,” said Paul, a dentist in Scarborough, who won for his photo of a patient with missing teeth using the Go Leafs Go banner as a bib.
After the loss, the lucky fans agreed it’s going to be a back-and-forth series, with Toronto winning Wednesday and the series-winner taking it in Game 7.
Let’s hope they’re right. Go Leafs Go. Cheers. More pics inside post...