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The Official Site of the Calgary Flames

TEAM-FIRST ATTITUDE

Our season-ticket holders have some amazing stories to tell. Today we profile Sue and Richard Kanegawa, two die-hard fans that plan their lives around when the team is on the ice

by MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ @NHLFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Through planes, trains, and automobiles.

No matter the country, no matter the cost.

The Kanegawa family always finds a way to catch the game. 

Since the 2006-2007 season, Sue and Richard Kanegawa - a passionate C of Red husband and wife duo - have been to every Flames game at the Scotiabank Saddledome. 

And when the team hits the road, they still make sure they don't miss a tilt.

"I can't even think - when is the last time you actually missed a Flames game?" said Steven Ming to his mother-in-law Sue.

She couldn't respond with anything but a modest shrug.

"Well, I watch most of the games," said Sue, before her son-in-law piped in again.

"Every single one of them," he clarified.

Every time the Flames have taken the ice over the past 13 years, at home or on the road, the Kanegawa family has taken the mantra of "where there's a will, there's a way" quite literally. 

"I always have to find a way to get the game for them," Steven said. "We were in London, and the Flames had just started a playoff push. So, she was up at 4 o'clock in the morning - they both were, they set their alarms.

"I mean, I like a hockey game, but I'm not that nuts."

Family vacations, of course, have got to be scheduled around puck drop. 

"When we go away, I have texts coming from my family asking me, 'what are you doing while you're there?'" said their daughter Sandra Kanegawa. "I say: 'Well the hockey game is at 4 p.m., so everything is planned around that time.'

"Lunch needs to be earlier; dinner needs to be later, or we pick up take-out so they can have dinner while they watch the game.

"Everything stops."

Even nuptials take a backseat when the Flames are playing. 

"She had to watch the game at (a) wedding," said Ming. "That was a $400 phone bill.

"She was at the table, with her phone under the table because she didn't want people to know … she was more interested in the hockey game. 

"She watched the whole thing and got a massive charge for her data because she went way over her limit."

It's a tremendous fandom that initially took the family by surprise. 

"My mother is a prim and proper lady - always has been," said Sandra. "You would never think she would wear a hockey jersey.

"That is something as children, we never knew until they got tickets - our mother was a hockey fan. We thought it was just a newfound form of entertainment. I don't think my sisters even knew how crazy she is about hockey."

"You should've seen the first day she came with a jersey on," said Steven. "The girls were like 'you've got to be kidding, that's your jersey? Did you lose a bet?'

"But she wears her jersey to every game."

And she plans on continuing that streak. 

"My grandson asked me after we lost (in the playoffs), 'are you still going to get season tickets?'" said Richard. "Ask Grandma, I said.

"But of course, we're going to. We have to." 

"I can't wait until September," added Sue. 

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