Proof through the night: Edmonton fans rescue US anthem
EDMONTON, Alberta – Oh, say, can you sing the U.S. national anthem from memory? If not, there are about 18,000 Edmonton Oilers hockey fans who could give you a lesson.
A malfunctioning microphone put Canadian country singer Brett Kissel on the spot inside Rogers Place on Sunday night before the Oilers met the Anaheim Ducks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Kissel then invited the near-sellout crowd to do the honors for the visiting Anaheim Ducks.
Although most of the players didn't join in, the hometown fans embraced the moment and responded with a memorable rendition of the "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Robert Clark belted out "O Canada."
Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli appreciated the 6-3 victory to cut Edmonton's lead to 2-1 entering Game 4 on Wednesday night. They also appreciated the crowd.
"Congratulations to the Edmonton fans for creating such a special moment last night by singing both of the national anthems," the owners said in a statement Monday. "To hear the audience passionately sing both the Canadian and United States anthems was inspiring and powerful. Well done, Edmonton!"
Nashville forward Vernon Fiddler was born in Edmonton. He suspects at least one other U.S. city — besides Music City — could sing the Canadian anthem without a teleprompter.
"Maybe Buffalo, it's right across the border, so they should be able to sing our national anthem," Fiddler said Monday.
Nashville's version of "O Canada" two years ago came in response to a performance by Toronto fans in November 2014 when a technical glitch with the Predators in town at Air Canada Centre prompted them to sing the U.S. anthem.
AP Sports Writer Teresa Walker in Nashville and AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno in Washington contributed to this report.
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