NEWS

Rival hockey brothers plan Stanley Cup trip of a lifetime

06/12/2013 11:46 EDT | Updated 08/12/2013 05:12 EDT
The trip of a lifetime started with a simple text.

"Boston's in the final. Looks like a road trip."

That's how brothers Steve Johnson, who sent the message, and Gary Johnson, on the receiving end, decided to watch the 2013 Stanley Cup Final in person.

Steve is a Boston Bruins fan. Gary is loyal to the Chicago Blackhawks.

For the first time in NHL history, the teams will play for the Stanley Cup, and the brothers from LaSalle, Ont., a suburb of Windsor, will be at Game 2 on Saturday night.

Their father was a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but the tradition didn't carry on to the sons.

"No. 4 Bobby Orr says it all," Steve said.

"When I was growing up , the Red Wings were not a very good team," Gary said. "So, obviously, I was a Hawks fan."

Gary is five years older than Steve, and said he couldn't influence his brother into becoming a fellow Hawks fan.

The two will drive roughly five hours to Chicago, but be home in time for Father's Day on Sunday.

"It’s all about making memories and making choices," Gary said. "You can choose to spend your days and hours and money on stuff that doesn’t last or make those memories. This is something we’ll never forget."

Steve says his dad and the bond he instilled in the boys is one of the biggest reasons for the trip.

"My dad, who passed away a few years ago, is the inspiring reason why my brother and I are going," Steve said. "The Hawks and Bruins have never met in the finals before. Somehow, I know my dad has something to do with this."

As this year's playoffs wore on, it was becoming more obvious the two teams - and brothers - could clash in the final.

"As we kept winning series and got closer and closer, we thought it was something we should," Gary said.

"It’s going to be a tight series. Each team will win a game in each other’s barn," Steve predicted. "But more importantly, it’s the experience we’re going to have together."

The brothers don't have tickets yet, but they aren't worried.

"I’m willing to spend whatever I have to to get in the game," Steve said.

In 2011, Steve saw games 6 and 7 between the Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. He went to Boston for Game 6 and Game 7 in Vancouver, where he paid $2,300 for a ticket in row 18 and saw his Bruins win the Stanley Cup.

"That was a Game 7. Game 2 isn’t that high," brother Gary said of Saturday's prices.

In 2010, Gary watched his Hawks win it all on TV.

"I thought it’d be better to look at the Cup in person," he said. "It’s going to be awesome. I know when he did the Vancouver trip, I thought if ever Boston and Chicago play in the final, we should do this together."

When they return to LaSalle, the road trip only ends for Gary. Steve is heading to Boston with his son. The idea is to catch Game 4 in person in Beantown.

"If I think it’s going to go to six games, we’ll hold off and go to Game 6," he said.

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