FRANÇAIS Official Site of the Ottawa Senators

ALL regular season home game TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

 BUY TICKETS > 
News
 

Sens Army invades Stockholm

Operation Sweden a memorable experience for everyone involved

Sunday, 05.10.2008 / 9:25 PM / News
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Sens Army invades Stockholm
"Sens Army Operation Sweden" was a peaceful occupation as almost 60 die-hard Ottawa fans have spent the week cheering on their team, spreading the gospel of Ottawa hockey and Canadian culture to everyone they engage.
STOCKHOLM – The Sens Army has invaded this city this week.

Fortunately, Sens Army Operation Sweden – the code name for this mission – was a peaceful occupation as almost 60 die-hard Ottawa fans have spent the week cheering on their team and making the city their own; soldiers spreading the gospel of Ottawa hockey and Canadian culture to everyone they engage.

These foot soldiers weren't hard to miss this weekend at the Globe Arena, site of the Bridgestone NHL Premiere 2008 series that saw the Ottawa Senators play the Pittsburgh Penguins in a pair of games. No, they didn't wear camouflage. Rather, they were decked out in red Senators jerseys, each emblazoned with the No. 08 on the back and SWEDEN across the nameplate.

Pittsburgh won the opener 4-3 in overtime to give the Sens Army one of the only setbacks of the trip. Sunday, Ottawa answered with a 3-1 victory to bolster the already sky-high morale of the troops, who will remain on the ground until Wednesday.

At that time they will withdraw – not retreat – back to Ottawa with another successful mission under their belt.

But there is no time to think about ultimate victory yet. There is more for these soldiers to do while they have boots on the ground.

"It's been absolutely amazing," said Bev Crepin, an Ottawa resident who has owned season suite tickets for the past eight years and made the trip with her daughter, Kelsey, and sister-in-law, Debbie Crepin. "The people here are so friendly."

How friendly?

Let's ask Tim Snelling, another soldier taking part in the team's latest fan deployment.

"We got lost our first night here and this couple saw our pins (of crossed flags from Canada and Sweden) and came over and said, 'You're Canadian and you’re lost,' " he related. "They asked where we wanted to go and we told them we were looking for a restaurant. They took us by the elbow and led us right to it."

With hospitality like that, it's hard not to have a good time. And it was clear on Sunday night that Snelling, who has supported the team throughout its existence, was having the time of his life.

"The nightlife here is amazing," he said. "Everything about this trip is amazing. I have done a lot of travelling, and this trip has been just amazing. Everything has been just seamless."

Lisa Trevisanutto, the marketing manager for the Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place, is the general in charge of this invasion. She prepared the battle plan, relying heavily on the intelligence provided James C. Hanlon, who runs the Hanlon Company. His business plans and books tours of Scandinavia for youth hockey teams based in North America.

Hanlon knows the lay of the land and he was able to plan the paths of attack necessary to see and conquer all the must-see attractions in the city. He has opened the doors to the city's most exclusive restaurants and nightclubs and provided a wealth of recon material to the troops.

“We wanted to put together a package for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Trevisanutto. "Because of the limited number of tickets the club had, we targeted our club-seat holders, sponsors and other clients and the response was amazing."

Soldiers were volunteering for duty as soon as the invasion plans were announced.

"When we heard about this junket, we jumped on it," said Snelling, the president and CEO of Palladium Insurance.

Snelling, it seems, was almost destined to be on this trip. He is a Senators soldier by birth.

"I grew up a snowball's throw from what is now Scotiabank Place," he said. "It was a cornfield then."

Despite being a member of the Sens Army rank and file, Snelling knows a little something about leadership and he believes the success of this invasion by his fellow troops rests with the Supreme Commander, team owner Eugene Melnyk, and second in command, Roy Mlakar.

"Eugene Melnyk has a personal touch in everything he does," says Snelling. "Eugene and Roy spend time with the fans and that is important. It is part of the reason for the success. Eugene appreciates the support of his clients and he shows it. I'm not surprised that this is so well run. Eugene probably personally signed off on it."

Like a good field commander, Trevisanutto has made sure her troops are well cared for. After the hard work of the weekend, she has given the army two free days before boarding the Freedom Bird home.

Monday, there is a commando raid on the Ice Bar, one of Stockholm's most interesting landmarks. But it will be made by volunteers only. No orders will be given from here on out. Well, no orders except for one.

"So far, we have had a fantastic time," said Trevisanutto. "Stockholm has been so hospitable to us and everybody has had a fantastic time. We just want that to continue until we leave."

Clearly, Sens Army Operation Sweden has been a battlefield success beyond anyone's expectations.


 

Author: Shawn P. Roarke | NHL.com Managing Editor

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06