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M&G takes on the Honda Center

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In an effort to break the curse, we flew from Alberta to Phoenix and drove to Anaheim. That's dedication. And money saving.

Where the devil himself lives.
Where the devil himself lives.
@saltysyd

We've all heard it.

The Honda Center is cursed.

Burn it to the ground, we've said.

Some of the M&G staff set out on a journey to Anaheim for Game 2 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to try and break the curse.

If you follow MikeAri, or me on Twitter, you will have undoubtedly seen snippets of our trip. Because when Internet friends get together, everything is live-tweeted.

Prior to the game on Sunday, the Hiller brigade (plus Mike) took a trip to Disneyland.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;it&#39;s too hot /collectively takes Hiller shirts off&quot; &quot;okay it&#39;s cool again /collectively puts Hiller shirts back on&quot; <a href="https://twitter.com/saltysyd">@saltysyd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/CataCarryOn">@CataCarryOn</a></p>&mdash; ari (@thirtyfourseven) <a href="https://twitter.com/thirtyfourseven/status/594978479407431680">May 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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The Hiller Brigade struggle.

We definitely got some stares and glares from Ducks fans, but we also got words of encouragement from others - and the occasional Ducks-Hiller fan.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/TadRegnireum">@TadRegnireum</a> ride operator told us the Flames have to win, because his bracket is dependant on it. It was awesome</p>&mdash; Catherine Silverman (@CataCarryOn) <a href="https://twitter.com/CataCarryOn/status/594991507431510017">May 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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To be just a little more obnoxious, we figured we should make a sign for the game.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FLAMS?src=hash">#FLAMS</a> sign is a go <a href="http://t.co/rYhAP9gh1Q">pic.twitter.com/rYhAP9gh1Q</a></p>&mdash; Sydney (@saltysyd) <a href="https://twitter.com/saltysyd/status/594950338324467712">May 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The <a href="https://twitter.com/MatchsticksCGY">@MatchsticksCGY</a> team are coming to the Honda Center prepared tonight with signage. <a href="http://t.co/8PQ7Kwup62">pic.twitter.com/8PQ7Kwup62</a></p>&mdash; Mike FAIL (@mikeFAIL) <a href="https://twitter.com/mikeFAIL/status/595005996671508480">May 3, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Before you say it, we soon realized that black poster paper was a terrible idea. While the gold hashtag looked awesome, the red paint got absorbed into the black paper and the "FLAMS' was unreadable. Unfortunately, that sign was a fail. RIP.

Even without a sign, we were determined to support the #FLAMS.

So was about half the crowd.

The Honda Center had empty seats. The 'sea of orange' is effectively from all the free orange towels that are left on these seats. And the small groups of red jerseys throughout the arena squashed that anyway.

Good job Ducks fans. Awesome job Flames fans.

Walking through the concourse, waiting in line for food and drinks, Flames fans were everywhere. And we acknowledged it. Groups of Flames fans would high five or yell at each other when they passed. What camaraderie.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Every flames fan is screaming at one another. This is the realest game <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CGYvsANA?src=hash">#CGYvsANA</a></p>&mdash; Catherine Silverman (@CataCarryOn) <a href="https://twitter.com/CataCarryOn/status/595046370223915008">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">running into Flames fans all around has been mega awesome throughout this trip ❤️❤️❤️</p>&mdash; ari (@thirtyfourseven) <a href="https://twitter.com/thirtyfourseven/status/595104064888700928">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

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During the game, chants of "Let's go Ducks" and "Go Ducks Go" were broken up by pockets of Calgary fans screaming to replace "Ducks" with "Flames." Based on the number of people telling me they thought they heard "Go Flames Go" on TV, I'd say it was a success.

Flames fans are awesome.

But we knew that.

And judging by the last half of the game, the Flames were really pulling together for us.

The Honda Center is nice on the outside, and there isn't a bad seat to watch the game, but one thing seriously lacking - the concourse. In the Saddledome, you don't even need to get out of your seat to grab a beer - there are people walking around selling it in the stands. And when you do leave your seat, you don't need to walk more than a few steps to find food and drink.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">One thing the Dome has better than Honda... you can buy beer every 5ft. This place is lacking.</p>&mdash; Sydney (@saltysyd) <a href="https://twitter.com/saltysyd/status/595063628631412736">May 4, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Not to mention the complete lack of a 50/50. Come on Anaheim.

I brought a secret weapon into the Honda Center to try and break the curse. I had filled up a water bottle in the Calgary airport and had taken a bit of water in a lip balm container with me - trying to channel the Bruins when they sprinkled Boston water on the ice in Vancouver.

We all know how well that worked. Alas, we left Anaheim in defeat. Though a significant step up from Game 1.

At least we tried.

flams