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NHL Heritage Classic

Stanley Cup headlines pregame party at Heritage Classic

Fans flock to get picture with trophy before Jets face Flames

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / Staff Writer

REGINA, Saskatchewan -- Thompson Charlton was excited about attending his second NHL game, the 2019 NHL Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic between the Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames, Saturday at Mosaic Stadium (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN1, CITY, TVAS2, NHL.TV).

But the 8-year-old from Kenton, Manitoba, said the game would have to be pretty good to top getting his picture taken with the Stanley Cup.

Charlton and his family -- 11-year-old sister Adrianna and parents Angela and Blair -- were in Confederation Park next door to Mosaic Stadium at The PreGame at the Heritage Classic on Saturday afternoon, enjoying the live music, interactive games and photo opportunities.

But nothing topped the family photo with the Stanley Cup.

"It was really cool," Thompson said. "Never seen it in person but I've seen it on TV."

Video: Fun experience for fans at 2019 Heritage Classic

Blair and Angela Charlton have been to several Jets games in Winnipeg and took their children to their first NHL game this past April, for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the St. Louis Blues.

The Charltons, whose hometown is 165 miles west of Winnipeg and close to the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border, traveled to Regina for the weekend for the spectacle of the Heritage Classic. They have been looking forward to it since Blair received the tickets as a Fathers' Day gift.

And they were prepared. Heritage Classic game day was blustery, with temperatures near freezing. A few snow flurries fell while they enjoyed the attractions at The PreGame on Saturday afternoon.

"I've got long underwear, four sweaters, a jacket, a jersey, neck warmer, mitts, tuque," Blair said.

They also found plenty of interaction with Flames fans at The PreGame.

"Getting along with some of them," Blair said, laughing.

William White, 25, and Logan Angus, 25, were two Flames fans who made the trip from Calgary for the weekend.

They also had their pictures taken with the Stanley Cup, which had the only line longer than for the free coffee and hot chocolate at Tim Hortons trucks in Confederation Park.

"We were in line for the Stanley Cup earlier and it was probably 25 minutes and we met some Jets fans behind us, and it was an awesome conversation," White said.

"That was worth it," said Angus, who said he's already sent the photo to his parents. "I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame once and saw it, but that was when I was a kid. This was better."

White said the friends' first trip to Regina has been outstanding.

"It's a fantastic city," White said. "The community has been so welcoming to all fans, from Alberta or Manitoba. It's been just great."

It was an ideal way to set the stage for the Heritage Classic game in the evening.

"This is going to be a lot of fun," Angela Charlton said. "There are a lot of people here who are going to have a great time. Basically, being halfway between Calgary and Winnipeg, it's a good mix here. The spirit and energy in there is going to be great."

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