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Oilers Contest Winner Tells Us About His Trip To Arizona

Sean won a trip to see the Oilers play in Arizona. He tells us about the experience.

Editor's note: Sean reached out to me before departing on this trip, asking if we might be interested in a recap. The obvious answer that question was of course. What follows is Sean's account of the trip. Enjoy.

I first saw the contest to win the all-inclusive trip to Arizona with the Edmonton Oilers, via the Oilers' Facebook page. The next event was being held at On the Rocks, and I figured it was worth a shot. My friend Craig and I made a deal that if one of us wins, we'd take the other. Of course in our minds, it was completely far-fetched, but we made the deal in advance as a precaution. As luck would have it, I was the first name picked and I thought I had automatically won. "You'll be going through 3 rounds of trivia" said the Oilers rep, to which I responded with, "I got this". Two other contestants were picked, I answered the questions correctly and I advanced to the finals. The final question of "In what city do the Coyotes play in?" was asked. Flashbacks from playing NHL on Playstation hit me, as I remembered "we’re here in Glendale, Arizona", from the pregame introduction. I wrote down my answer on the drawing board and as the answer was revealed, I went for a floor sweeping celly as I was declared the winner.

I won the contest in November and it was a long giddy wait until we took off for the trip in March. Days before we were set to take off, the Oilers rep, Brittany, emailed our itineraries. I asked her if she could extend our trip for additional days and she gladly made the arrangements, for no additional cost (thanks Brit). After a lengthy four month wait, my friend and I were finally on our way to the desert to watch our hometown heroes. Upon arrival in Phoenix, we were welcomed by Brit and the two Molson reps, Stacey and Connor (not that Connor, but he was still a really cool dude). A swanky limo-bus awaited all 10 winners and their plus ones. "Eye of the Tiger" was cranked on the stereo, and it was off to Glendale we went!

For the next couple days, Brit, Stacey and Connor treated us to the ultimate sports trip experience. We stayed at the beautiful Renaissance Hotel (which we overheard to be about $450 U.S a night!). The hotel happened to be right across the street from the arena, which also happened to be the same place the Oilers were staying at. We were welcomed with a "swag bag" consisting of Molson and Oiler goodies. Thereafter, we were transported in a decked out Denali and treated to a Dodgers and Mariners game. By night, we took a little stroll to Phoenix to watch the Suns play the Memphis Grizzlies. As long as we were drinking Molson products, our drinks were covered too! The next day after ridding my hangover with more alcohol, we went on a tour of the Gila River Arena where the Yotes' play. It was fascinating to see all the behind the scenes preparation for an NHL game and equally fascinating to see the most random life size photo of Chad Kroeger and Wayne Gretzky; hanging out like old chums, in Coyotes jerseys. Just before the Oilers game, they treated us to a nice patio dinner within the Westgate Entertainment District, which was a perfect view to see the flock of Oiler fans roll in for game time. To top it off, we scored row 10 seats at centre ice, for all 20 of us, to watch our boys take on the Coyotes.

There was no official meet and greet with the Oilers on the itinerary, but Brit had mentioned we'd be staying at the same hotel as them. I took that as a "choose your own adventure" and went ahead and bought a McDavid Jersey and a few pucks to be signed. The Oilers’ bus rolled in midday and the hunt was on. Armed with Oiler pucks and a silver sharpie in my swim shorts, I spotted Draisaitl sitting down in the lobby and asked for an autograph. Nurse and Sekera were hanging outside, and we chatted with them briefly before making our way to the pool. Shortly after, some of the Oilers started coming down to the pool to catch some rays. Kassian was the first one, followed by Gazdic, Hall and Ebs and a few went to chat with them. With all the love we have for all the Oilers players, deep down, we all knew who we wanted to meet. We were all excited for The Chosen One, The Saviour, Connor McJesus.

I was a few drinks in (more than a few) and he finally came down. I gave a head nod to my friend and gestured that I was going to grab our McDavid jerseys upstairs. With a few reassurance mumbles of, "you can do this", I grabbed the jerseys and headed back to the pool. By that time, half our group of grown men broke down into giddy school children. "When should we make the move?" we all whispered, only meters away from our hockey hero. With McDavid eating what appeared to be a shrimp ring (unclear if it was actually a shrimp ring), the mama of our group devised a plan that we would let our boy eat before we pounced. He psyched us out, only to get up to dip his feet into the pool. It's almost as if time slowed down for us, and then all of a sudden he got out of the pool to take off for real! Our hearts skipped a beat, knowing full well we couldn't let this moment slip away. We hightailed up to him, acting like we hadn't been watching his every move for the last 10 minutes. We politely asked him if he could sign our jerseys, but in a manner like we were asking the most popular girl in school to be our prom date. He graciously signed our jerseys and took a photo with our group, before he majestically rode off into the sunset.

In such a short period of time, 20 complete strangers quickly turned into good friends. In between whistles at the game, we were "twerkin’'" and "pop n lockin’", together in unison. We were cheering at the top of our lungs for our beloved Oilers and booing the home team in their own barn. The last 10 years have been very gloomy for Oilers fans, but it was such a treat for all 20 of us to share such an amazing Oilers' adventure together. It was refreshing to feel the passion, love and hope that still bleeds within. I am very grateful to have experienced this trip and I now have the ultimate memento with my signed Connor McDavid jersey.Thank you to Molson Canadian, the Edmonton Oilers and everyone involved in making this a trip of a lifetime. And big cheers to all the new friends I met on this trip! I encourage everyone to try your luck at winning a trip at the Oilers Game Day Live Events next year. What an experience it was!