A few days after three Caps fans showed up to Maple Leaf Square in Toronto, two girls followed suit on Sunday. In a sea of blue, they were among a handful of Caps fans celebrating Marcus Johansson’s series-ending overtime tally.
After the game, we spoke to an excited Kaitlyn about the experience.
Kaitlyn has been a Capitals fan since she was 11-years-old. Growing up in Ontario, she was a fan of her hometown junior OHL team, the Kitchener Rangers. Former Caps first-round pick Steve Eminger was her favorite player. Kaitlyn followed Eminger through his long journey in the Capitals organization, and fell in love with the NHL team in the process.
“I like rooting for the underdog,” Kilgour said. “My Mom and Dad let me cheer for whoever I wanted. And I chose Washington.”
Meanwhile, Kaitlyn became friends with Paige because they play hockey on the same team. Kaitlyn’s favorite player is Ovechkin, but models her own play more after checking-line forwards Wilson and Winnik.
“I don’t mind being the aggressor on the ice and drawing some penalties, or taking penalties to defend a teammate,” Kilgour said.
According to Kaitlyn, it was all Paige’s idea to go watch the game at Maple Leaf Square.
“I said, ‘Absolutely!!'”
— kaitlyn kilgour (@kaitlyn_kilgour) April 23, 2017
“We went because we knew the atmosphere would be something to experience,” Kaitlyn continued. “We didn’t have 400 to spend on a standing room ticket so we supported them as close as we could, outside with hundreds of Leafs fans.”
The two female fans even met up with a few other Caps fans including the guy with the RMNB sign.
Kaitlyn and Paige did have their uncomfortable moments with the crowd.
Same, buddy. pic.twitter.com/EmXca19App
— carrie (@carabahniuk) April 24, 2017
“We were boo’d by over 600 people,” Kaitlyn said. “We walked by with huge smiles on our faces. During the game we were yelled at, cursed at, but we made friends with the Leafs fans around us and had a good time. The Leafs fans had some interesting chants ‘#$%& Ovechkin, we want seven.'”
But that intensity calmed down after the game, as a lot of the Leafs fans went and shook their hands. Kaitlyn said she never once felt unsafe or targeted.
“We understood where we were and the jerseys we had on,” she said. “We took it all with a smile, and left with an even bigger smile.”
The video of Kaitlyn and Paige went semi-viral in hockey circles on social media and after the game, the Washington Nationals used it to congratulate the Caps for moving onto the second round.
tfw DC sports has that MoJo risin'
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) April 24, 2017
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