'Won’t open them until we win': Flames fan hopes to pop Champagne bottles meant for '04 Stanley Cup run

It was almost exactly 18 years ago when Calgary Flames fan Shane Byciuk managed to sneak two bottles of Champagne into the Saddledome for Game 6 of the 2004 Stanley Cup finals.

He had hoped to pop them if the Flames hoisted the Cup that evening, but those same bottles still remain in his fridge to this day.

“I won’t open them until we win the Stanley Cup and hopefully it’s this year,” Byciuk said.

“I still remember that night, we brought those mini bottles fully expecting to crack them. I cracked off the top of the bottles when the game went into overtime just waiting for that goal, but it never came.” 

June 4, 2004 is a night many Flames fans will never forget thanks to a controversial call on a play where it appeared the Calgary forward Martin Gelinas was able to sneak the puck past the goal-line.

That goal was called off by the referee, much to the dismay of Calgary fans who watched as their team lost that game and fell in a devastating Game 7 to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Everybody thought it was in,” said Byciuk.

“You know, that’s like a huge circumstance and when that goal was called back, everybody was disheartened, it was just complete silence and anger, right? Even to this day, people are still saying that that goal was in.”

Byciuk says the 2004 playoff run was one of the most exciting memories he has of the team he’s been cheering for his entire life.

Fast-forward to 2022 and the Battle of Alberta has now amplified that excitement in the hopes that those Champagne bottles can get one step closer to being opened with a victory in this playoff series. 

“If we don’t win, they're going back into my beer fridge, but I can’t wait to open them up,” said Byciuk.

“I don't know what the Champagne would taste like after all those years and I wouldn't want to find out. I won’t drink it, but I’ll spray it outdoors if they win the Cup or maybe on some Oiler fans,” he joked.