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Oilers fans home and abroad hope for return to glory in Stanley Cup final

With the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup final for the first time in almost 20 years, fans both home and abroad are hoping the team can return some of that old school hockey shine to the City of Champions.

Oilers take on the Florida Panthers in Game 1 of the playoff final series this Saturday. The last time the team won a cup was in 1990 while the last time a Canadian team brought it north of the border was 1993.

Outside the Oilers arena at Edmonton's Ice District Plaza, hundreds of fans Saturday gathered for an outdoor watch party.

Despite the enormous distance between Edmonton and Sunrise, Fla., — some 5,000 kilometres — fans of the orange and blue have also made the trip to witness hockey history in person.

John Liska bought a ticket to Florida right after the Oilers beat the Dallas Stars in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final. 

He's been a fan since birth.

His friend, Mike Taufer, was born in Edmonton but now lives in Florida — he was sporting hometown colours outside Amerant Bank Arena.

"Edmonton has a challenge like they did with Dallas. But they got through it," Taufer said.

Liz Schaut is another Edmonton expat who has kept the faith alive, even though she only usually sees her team play in person once a year.

"We're kind of crazy from Edmonton, we like to show our team up," she said Saturday, bedecked in orange hair and a gleaming silver cowboy hat.

She says Panthers fans shouldn't get any special sympathy just because their team lost in the final last year.

"I'm still heartbroken from '06," she said, referencing the last time the Oilers made it this far in the Cup series.

Andrew Greenhaus flew down to the sunshine state from his hometown in Long Island. He became an Oilers fan after a chance meeting with