Jillayne Masters, left, and Celina Pilling watched Game 3 of the Battle of Alberta Sunday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Jillayne Masters, left, and Celina Pilling watched Game 3 of the Battle of Alberta Sunday night at the Peavey Mart Centrium. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Flames, Oilers fans watch Battle of Alberta together in Red Deer

Game 4 of the series goes Tuesday in Edmonton

The Battle of Alberta hasn’t gotten in the way of Celina Pilling and Jillayne Masters’ lifelong friendship.

The two, wearing opposing team’s jerseys, watched Game 3 of the second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on the jumbotron at the Peavey Mart Centrium Sunday night.

“Jill and I have been best friends since we were literally four,” said Pilling.

“We’re both from Red Deer so we come from a central location, but now I live in Calgary and she lives here. Our friendship is beyond the rivalry, but we do know there’s a rivalry. … We’re friendly about it.”

Masters said she grew up in an Oilers’ household.

“My brothers and dad were all Oilers fans so it came naturally I suppose. Regardless of what happens (in this series), I do hope an Alberta team can make it to the Stanley Cup,” she said.

Both said they were excited to watch the game at the Peavey Mart Centrium in Red Deer.

“It is cool how geographically speaking Red Deer is in the middle so we can kind of be here on neutral ground. We’re not in Edmonton or Calgary watching the game, we can be in that neutral location to share this fun time together,” said Pilling.

Masters added: “I think it’s really neat the Centrium is doing this.

“It’s fun to see kids experience this without having to pay hundreds of dollars to go see a game. It’s great to see families out here.”

Westerner Park hosted watch parties of Battle of Alberta games on Friday and Sunday – the Oilers won both of those matchups and now lead the best-of-seven series 2-1. Entry was free, but cash donations for the Red Deer Rebels Foundation and Westerner Park Foundation were welcome.

Another pair of longtime friends, 15-year-old Spencer Waldbauer and 16-year-old Dylan Carfantan put their NHL allegiances aside to enjoy Sunday’s matchup together.

“At first I was an Oilers fan because that’s what my family did. My dad for some strange reason switched to Flames, so I followed along with him,” said Waldbauer, who has cheered for Calgary for about 10 years.

Carfantan said, “I was a Pittsburgh and Chicago fan back when I was five or six. My dad’s cheered for the Oilers for my whole life at least. I switched when I was about seven to the Oilers. I’ve been a fan since.”

The two have been friends for practically their whole lives – their parents work together. Despite the longtime friendship, their hockey allegiances do cause some tense moments “every now and then,” they said with smiles.

“No fistfights or anything,” Carfantan said.

Waldbauer jokingly added, “But there could be.”

The Oilers and Flames will play Game 4 Tuesday.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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Childhood friends Spencer Waldbauer, left, and Dylan Carfantan were cheering for opposite teams during the Battle of Alberta watch party at the Peavey Mart Centrium Monday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Childhood friends Spencer Waldbauer, left, and Dylan Carfantan were cheering for opposite teams during the Battle of Alberta watch party at the Peavey Mart Centrium Monday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)