The Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames are meeting in the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first such meeting since 1991.

It’s the Battle of Alberta and it doesn’t take a lot of motivation to get people pumped up for it with fans of both teams having no problem telling you who they’re cheering for.

That includes Sir John Franklin High School and a couple of staff members decided to have some fun with it.

Sharon Oldford, a program support teacher at the school, and vice-principal Paul Bennett have been holding the doors at different spots around the school every game-day morning since the series began. The trick is that students had to pick which door they wanted to go through because it would show who they were rooting for.

Bennett, the Oilers’ fan, said he was the one who got things rolling before Game 1 of the series.

“I went out front in the morning with my Oilers jersey, mask and hat to greet everyone and there was Sharon,” he said. “She took a look at me and told me that’s not fair, this won’t do.”

On the morning of Game 2, Oldford, the Flames fan, came decked out in all her Calgary glory and the war was on.

“I had to respond,” said Oldford. “There was no way I was going to let Paul get away with that.”

The first two games of the series had Bennett and Oldford at the front doors but for Game 3, they went to the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre entrance, which is the entry point for the senior students of the school. Same deal there — pick your door and show your support.

“It gets the kids talking first thing in the morning,” said Bennett. “It loosens them up a bit and gives them a chance to have some fun before going to class.”

Oldford agreed, saying there’s absolutely nothing malicious behind it whatsoever.

“It’s all for fun,” she said. “We get to show our spirit and to see that people have different views and we can respect the opinions of others.”

Bennett said not everyone wants to walk through either of the doors for one very good reason.

“We’ll have students and even staff go through the unmanned doors because they hate both teams and could never cheer for them,” he said.

Oldford even joked about having a door for Toronto Maple Leafs fans.

“Maybe we should have had a door with golf clubs and a golf cart or something like that,” she said with a laugh.

James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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  1. Good on them both! Just a note, I have seen Paul holding the doors open to students, and welcoming them personally to the school more days than not, in all kinds of inclement weather for the last decade or so. It is a really nice, welcoming gesture Paul does for his students – all the time, not just for Playoffs. Commendable!