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Estevan man went to Florida to cheer for beloved Oilers in Game 7

Josh Biggs and several friends from Saskatchewan were in Sunrise, Fla., for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final.
Josh Biggs snapped this picture while attending Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final between the Edmonton Oilers and the host Florida Panthers.

ESTEVAN - While millions of Canadians were watching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final between the Edmonton Oilers and the host Florida Panthers, one die-hard, lifelong Oilers' fan from Estevan was actually at the game.

Josh Biggs flew to Florida with some friends from Saskatchewan to attend the game at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, just outside of Miami. And while the Oilers lost the deciding game of the final 2-1 to the Panthers, it was still a great experience.

Biggs went to Game 3 of this year's final with some friends in Edmonton he hadn't seen since high school. While watching Game 5 at home, he decided to purchase tickets for Game 7 through the resale market.

"I knew I would regret it for a long time if the Oilers won it and I wasn't there to watch Game 7," said Biggs.

Biggs was born in 1984, the same year the Oilers won their first of five Stanley Cups. He has remained a steadfast supporter through lean years that started in the early 1990s. He purchased season tickets for the 2005-06 season, and was at an Oilers' home game during the 2006 Stanley Cup final. 

He remained a season ticket holder until 2018; Edmonton made the playoffs just twice from 2005-06 to 2017-18.

"I had season tickets through a lot of the bad years," he recalled.

Biggs and his pals were far from the only Oilers' fans in attendance. The expectation was that Oilers' fans would account for anywhere from five to 50 per cent of the crowd; he believes 25-30 per cent of the fans were cheering for the Canadian team.

"There were times when you'd look out and that's all you'd see is Oilers fans, whether it's on the concourse or walking into the game."

The Oilers' loss in Game 7 was a letdown, but it was still a close 2-1 game. Florida played well and didn't surrender a lot of opportunities, and Biggs said it was great hearing the Canadian fans sing O Canada.

"To see the environment and to just see the cup presented, it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime [opportunity]," said Biggs.