Jets Na­tion de­scend on Sin City for Game 4

National Post (National Edition) - - SPORTS -

LAS VE­GAS • Winnipeg Jets fans have arrived in Las Ve­gas rev­el­ling in the nov­elty of both their team in the third round of NHL play­offs and com­ing to Sin City to watch it.

“We’ve been wait­ing our whole life­time to be this deep in the se­ries and then you throw Las Ve­gas in it, it’s nuts,” said Chris Kirk­wood in the shade of T-mo­bile Arena.

The Jets trailed the ex­pan­sion Ve­gas Golden Knights 2-1 in the NHL’S Western Con­fer­ence fi­nal with Game 4 back at T-mo­bile on Fri­day and the se­ries re­turn­ing to Winnipeg for Sun­day’s Game 5.

Some Jets fans had long travel days to fol­low their team.

“I went to the Jets game the night be­fore, got three hours of sleep, hopped on a plane, went through Van­cou­ver, San Francisco,” Mark Kuri­ata said. “Left at 6:30 in the morn­ing, got to Ve­gas at seven o’clock and was in bed by nine.”

Kuri­ata, a sea­son-ticket holder since the Jets re­turned to Winnipeg in 2011, firmly be­lieves his team is Canada’s team now.

“Ab­so­lutely. How could you not love the Jets?” he said. “It’s a life­time dream to go this far in the play­offs and have a chance to win the Stan­ley Cup.”

Di­rect flights from Winnipeg to Las Ve­gas are not a daily oc­cur­rence, but WestJet added an ex­tra non-stop flight both Thurs­day and again Sun­day in ad­di­tion to its reg­u­lar route in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a Game 6 back in Ve­gas.

White-clad Jets fans mixed with Knights sup­port­ers in front of T-mo­bile prior to Wed­nes­day’s Game 3.

Pam Herda, a Winnipeg na­tive now liv­ing in Cal­i­for­nia, went all out with her cos­tume sport­ing a white wig, over­sized white sun­glasses and white dress.

An­them singer Car­nell John­son hos­pitably paused dur­ing O Canada on Wed­nes­day to al­low Jets fans to chime in with their tra­di­tional “True North” shout.

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