Dysen Bozic-Camara is nine years old.
He has a Leafs jersey, the newest available, the white one with
lines along the waist.
He has a Leafs hat.
He has two identical stickers, one on each cheek. The stickers, of course, are the Leafs’ logo.
They made the Coke Zero Fans First Tailgate event for people like Dysen whose favorite player is Phil Kessel
, but who retains a fondness for Mats Sundin even though the great Swede left town when Dysen was seven.
Dysen was among a couple of thousand sun-splashed fans enjoying the event at the west end of the Air Canada Centre. The event featured a concert by the Trews, an alumni ball hockey tournament and appearances by Leaf greats Johnny Bower and Rick Vaive.
“This is awesome,” said Dysen. “The Leafs are going to win.”
“Just tonight or the whole season?” he is asked.
“Tonight,” he said.
Smart kid. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since he was four. Like everyone else, he will wait and see.
A few feet away, Kristy Lauriault and Jacqueline Forbes have just pulled in. They drove from Windsor and hit some traffic. Four hours after leaving home, they have finally docked.
Kristy is a personal trainer. Jacqueline is a nurse. Jacqueline got the free tickets at work.
The two have been best friends since they were three years old.
It’s the first game for either of them and despite the allure of the Red Wings, both have always been Leaf fans. The road trip was rocking, Tuesday.
“We came to support Toronto. There’s no way we were going to turn this down.”