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Fans Happy Game Is Backl

from the Toronto Star,
Hockey is back and, apparently, all is forgiven. It is as if the Maple Leafs, frozen out of the Air Canada Centre for 16 months in a bitter NHL labour dispute, never went away. Nor did the affection of Toronto hockey fans for all things blue and white. An exhibition game against Ottawa — 5-2 for the Senators — turned into an exhibition of love last night as the Leafs went from being on ice to on the ice. And a standing-room-only crowd showed up to welcome their heroes home. Those fans, starved for shinny entertainment, stood and cheered every goal by the locals. They also stood in lengthy lines for concessions and souvenirs. And, more telling, they stood in lines at the ATMs, getting more cash to feed the money-making beast that is the Leafs. Back with the team is the $12.50 draft beer (28-ounce domestic), the $4.40 pizza slice and the $25 parking space. If there was resentment at having the game yanked away for a season, it was almost invisible here last night. "Are you kidding? It's Toronto. They could go away for five years and everyone would come running back just as strong," said 21-year-old Will Mauro, whose family has season tickets in the golds "I can't wait to get to my seat again."


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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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