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'Do you guys have tickets?': From road-trip nightmare to Stanley Cup front-row seats

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A road trip for a father and daughter that began as a nightmare quickly turned into a dream come true for the pair thanks to a couple of generous Oilers fans.

Shawn Mullin, a former WHL and BCHL broadcaster from Swift Current, Sask., and his nine-year-old daughter, Audrey, often go on adventures together.

The Mullins set out on a spontaneous trip to Edmonton to catch some Stanley Cup Final buzz from outside the plaza and it ended with getting front-row seats of the Panther-crushing Game 4.

But the adventure didn't come without obstacles.

First, they struck a deer halfway into their drive just north of Battleford and drove themselves into a ditch.

"My bumper came off and the car kind of went into a lower power mode so every part of me is going, 'Hell, we made kind of our last-minute decision to do this…maybe this is telling me that we shouldn't be going and we should turn around and do the safe thing,'" Mullin told CTV News Edmonton via Zoom.

"Something just told me to keep going."

Although their car needed some repairs, it was in good enough shape to continue the journey and experience the energy Oil Country has to offer.

When they checked into their hotel room, they discovered what no patron ever wants to see: bed bugs.

"We just switched rooms because of the circumstances…it was a little sketchy and I didn't get much sleep," Mullin said. "It felt like the trip was cursed to start with."

Waking up defeated by their hardships, the Mullins pushed forward and made their way to Ice District.

"The lines were really long because of Shania Twain so the security people told us, 'If you're not going to Shania Twain, just come back after the concert and you'll probably have a better chance getting in,'" Mullin said.

Due to the chilly weather, the father and daughter went to find a sweater, and when they walked by the Sandman Hotel, a couple of strangers asked, "Do you guys have tickets?"

"We turned around and said no. I'm thinking, 'Is he looking to sell tickets?'" Mullin said. "He said, 'Come with us' so casually and friendly…and away we went and ended up in the front row for Game 4 the Stanley Cup Final."

They just "wanted to make someone's day," Mullin said. The strangers, Joe and Joanne, "were really friendly."

"We're going to send something to them. Audrey wants to make them a card and maybe we'll print off the picture just to show our genuine gratitude."

From deers, ditches and bed bugs to sitting in the front row of Game 4 for free, Shawn and Audrey definitely won the lottery at being in the right place at the right time. 

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