Hockeyville Hub: Day 4 |


Only at Hockeyville

Storytelling and childlike marvel assembled for the red-carpet rite welcoming the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators to J.Okay. Irving Centre in Bouctouche for his or her preseason sport Saturday.

A meeting coated out of doors the development for the overall day of Kraft Hockeyville 2021 celebrating Elsipogtog First Nation. P.J. Sock, 8, stuck my consideration when he requested if I used to be well-known.

P.J. received an autographed Senators Hockeyville jersey via a neighborhood raffle out of doors Chief Young Eagle Recreation Center, the place he additionally met Canadiens goalie and Fredericton local Jake Allen.

The week used to be unforgettable for P.J., his pals and mom Martha. The Socks once in a while commute to Bell Centre for regular-season video games, however Martha Sock mentioned that might no longer examine to the Hockeyville enjoy.

“It’s just unbelievable, just once in a lifetime,” she mentioned. “Every day was P.J.’s best day and it got better every day. It seems like they’re a part of us.”

At the request of P.J. and his pals, Senators mascot Sparty agreed to do 10 pushups — if I joined him. We did all 10 after which Sparty sat on best of me. I did any other 5 midway down. Only for the youngsters.

P.J.’s day brightened from there, a wanted glow on an overcast and cold morning. The Senators arrived at 9:10 a.m. AT to the satisfaction of the Therrien circle of relatives visiting from St. Antonine. Ken Therrien is a father of 5. His daughter Orelie made an indication with playing cards of her 4 favourite gamers: Josh Norris, Brady Tkachuk, Thomas Chabot and Tim Stutzle.

Tkachuk signed his card and posed for photos with the entire circle of relatives.

“We don’t get the chance to do this when we see games in Ottawa,” Ken mentioned.

The Canadiens bus pulled in at 9:56 a.m. AT. One of the primary to greet them used to be Damien Duplessis from Bouctouche, in a wheelchair on account of a piece twist of fate. “Tiba,” known as the most important Canadiens fan on the town, is going way back to Guy Lafleur and met “The Flower” all over a neighborhood match in 2017. It’s the place Tiba won his VIP badge.

Lafleur, a respected Montreal icon, died of most cancers April 22 on the age of 70. Duplessis attended the general public viewing and taken his father’s No. 10 Lafleur jersey.

“I felt like a million bucks,” Duplessis mentioned. “I was glad he was my idol.”

Fans later greeted Canadiens ahead Cole Caufield with chants of ” Caufield! Caufield!” He one of the crucial final to go into the development, however no longer earlier than he signed an autograph for P.J. and gave him a hug.

P.J. Sock’s smile grew wider than New Brunswick. He eyes glistened with marvel. Only at Hockeyville. — Lane


Allen again in New Brunswick

The day of the preseason sport Jake Allen insisted beginning for the Canadiens has arrived.

The 32-year-old goalie used to be born in Fredericton and his roots have remained sturdy via charitable paintings together with his PROGRAM34 group. His friends and family can be right here, a couple of who have but to look him play in individual.

“I never thought I’d play an NHL game in New Brunswick, to be honest,” Allen mentioned. “Very fortunate but it’s not about me today. It’s about the community here and what Kraft is doing for them, but special for me as well to be able to play in New Brunswick. There’s not too many of us in the League and it’s a cool moment. It’s important because it means a lot to this community.”

Allen will attempt to assist Montreal (0-6-1) finish the preseason with a victory 4 days earlier than the regular-season opener towards the Toronto Maple Leafs at Bell Centre on Wednesday with a gaggle of gamers at the sidelines. Forwards Mike Hoffman and Christian Dvorak each and every is daily with an upper-body harm. Forwards Nick Suzuki (higher physique), Joel Armia (higher physique) and Emil Heineman (higher physique) each and every didn’t make the travel.

Forwards Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Josh Norris, Claude Giroux, Tyler Motte and Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Thomas Chabot each and every won’t play for Ottawa (4-3-0). Coach D.J. Smith mentioned he is observed sufficient from them within the preseason with the Senators opening on the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Derick Brassard will play after lacking the sport Thursday in Gander, New Brunswick, with an sickness. The 35-year-old heart is with Ottawa on a qualified tryout contract. He performed two seasons for them after he used to be obtained in a industry with the New York Rangers for heart Mika Zibanejad on July 18, 2016.

“With everything I went through the last 24 hours, I am going to try to keep it simple,” Brassard mentioned. “I’m going to try to keep it pretty short out there. But it’s an important game for everyone. We’ve got to take this this thing seriously. We’ve got to execute and make sure that we’re ready to go for that for the first game of the season.

“It’s a laugh to be right here. I believe it is a good thing the League does annually and we are lovely glad to be right here this night.”

Mathieu Joseph, Shane Pinto and Drake Batherson were Ottawa’s top line during the morning skate. Batherson was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and raised in the Maritimes (New Minas, Nova Scotia).

Goalie Magnus Hellberg will start and play the entire game for the Senators, the 31-year-old’s first since he was claimed off waivers from the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 3 with Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks because of an upper-body injury.

Prior to the sport, representatives from 2020 Hockeyville winner Twillingate, Newfoundland will move a ceremonial jersey to Ruth Levi and Kurt Joseph of the Elsipogtog First Nation native organizing committee. Four Indigenous participants from Elsipogtog First Nation serving within the North Shore infantry will make up the consideration guard. Tyrone and Tessa Sock, youngsters of overdue band councillor Craig “Jumbo” Sock, will drop the ceremonial first puck. Chief Arren Sock can be known all over the primary tv timeout. — Lane

Video: Referee Hebert talks native land webhosting Hockeyville



Cup ambassador Colton Benard

Colton Benard is an autistic 24-year-old resident of Elsipogtog First Nation deemed Stanley Cup ambassador for the day via Band Councillor Ruth Levi.

Colton is liked via the neighborhood, a strolling encyclopedia of hockey historical past and fan of Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins, so Levi selected him to steer the parade that escorted the Stanley Cup for a picnic to rejoice Hockeyville Canada 2021.

“I decided that we could honor Colton because of being a true-blue fan,” Levi mentioned. “I told the mom there’s something we really, really want to do. I told her and she started crying. She said, ‘You know, I don’t know how long I’m going to have my son.’ That’s all she said to me. She said you just made his day. You’re going to make his day.”

Tweet from @JonLaneNHL: Colton Benard, the Stanley Cup ambassador to Elsipogtog First Nation, escorts the silver chalice into the city to rejoice #Hockeyville

Colton spent a lot of his lifestyles at Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre gazing video games whilst sitting in the back of gamers and rooting towards his father’s favourite groups. Then the development used to be broken via a fireplace in September 2020. Some groups needed to play at Kent-North Imperial Centre in Richibucto. Others had been not able to play in any respect.

The area used to be renovated with the Hockeyville Canada prize of $250,000. There’s a recent coat of paint, new forums, glass, home windows, Kraft Hockeyville signage and a Zamboni. All that is lacking is new ice, the overall step on grasp for no less than 3-4 months on account of a pipe leak.

When completed, Colton and aggressive hockey will go back. While Hockeyville stays on the town, he’s going to commute to Bouctouche with folks Wally and Angie for morning skates and the preseason sport between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators at J.Okay. Irving Centre on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET; TVAS).

“Today’s a happy day,” Angie mentioned.

Happy as it used to be one to look ahead to and experience after Elsipogtog First Nation mourned the lack of their neighborhood collecting position, retired leader and Ruth’s father, Albert Levi, and standard Band Councillor/formative years hockey trainer Craig “Jumbo” Sock’s disappearance looking to rescue workforce participants of his capsized fishing boat.

Hours earlier than the folks reveled below the solar, the Cup visited the Rexton Lions Nursing Home. During the times main as much as it, the temper modified a little for the simpler. The glow will proceed for a very long time.

“Some of them grew up watching Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull, and to be able to see those names on the Cup, that must be awesome for them,” nursing house administrator Evan Scully mentioned. “It’s a huge morale boost. It’s a sense of anticipation, a sense of excitement, something that I’m sure a lot of the residents here would have never thought would have happened, ever. It’s just one of those once-in-a-lifetime things that thanks to the hard work of everybody involved they get to experience.” — Lane


“In awe” of the Cup

The Stanley Cup made the primary quit of its excursion of Elsipogtog First Nation at Rexall Elementary School. Kids in grades Okay-5 coated up for pictures adopted via alumni who moved directly to center college and highschool.

Principal Charlene Robinson summarized the feelings of the crowd in two phrases: In awe.

Hockey is lifestyles on this segment of Canada like the remainder of the rustic, the game enjoying the most important function in a youngster’s building.

“It plays in a number of different ways, of course like your typical physical education,” Robinson mentioned. “It also brings them to work as a team. We’re building that commitment and seeing that they’re not the only one, that they have to work together. For them to come back and see something as fabulous as this, because things like that don’t happen here that often. So to come here and see a piece of history, because that’s what it is, it’s history. They are really just in awe.”

When Robinson knowledgeable scholars in regards to the day with the Cup, she mentioned they sought after to fulfill the Keeper of the Cup up to seeing the trophy.

“They think he’s pretty cool,” Robinson mentioned.

Phil Pritchard has sorted the Stanley Cup since December 1988 and has been with the Hockey Hall of Fame for 34 years. He arrived at Elsipogtog First Nation after Twillingate, Newfoundland, this week used to be celebrated for successful Hockeyville 2020. When informed he is held in top regard, he stayed grounded, grateful he is alongside for the journey.

“It’s a great ride,” Pritchard mentioned. “As we know, the hockey community is pretty passionate about the history of the game, the aura of the game. I guess being part of it, I’m honored.” — Lane


Party time, Elsipogtog First Nation taste

Hockey Hall of Famer Bryan Trottier will sign up for three-time Olympic medalist Jocelyne Larocque and retired Ottawa Senators ahead Chris Neil lately for the Kraft Hockeyville 2021 Community Picnic Celebration at Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre, a circle of relatives pleasant match open to the general public that may practice the Stanley Cup being escorted into the city on a drift. The Cup can be on show for photograph alternatives with Trottier, Larocque and Neil each and every signing autographs.

Some gets their first take a look at the sector, which used to be renovated with the $250,000 grand prize. A fireplace in September 2020 had close down a meeting position that used to be so important to the neighborhood.

“I just want to see everybody’s face when they walk through this place,” rink supervisor Barry Augustine mentioned. “Holy smokes.”

Food, a laugh and video games, together with a lobster-eating contest, will entertain Elsipogtog First Nation and guests. Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen can be at Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre, at some point after a 4-3 loss to the Senators at Steele Community Centre in Gander, Newfoundland, to conclude Hockeyville 2020 celebrating Twillingate.

Allen will most probably get started for the Canadiens towards the Senators at J.Okay. Irving Centre in Bouctouche on Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET; TVAS). His roots — Allen used to be born in Fredericton, New Brunswick — stay sturdy. He performed peewee and midget hockey at Tom Donovan Arena in Renous, winner of Hockeyville 2019, and returned there with the Stanley Cup two months after successful it with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. His nonprofit PROGRAM34 group in August raised $75,000 for seven charities within the Fredericton area and has introduced in $490,000 for 22 charities all over six occasions all the way through New Brunswick.

“I’ve actually been looking forward to [Hockeyville 2021] all summer because it’s a big deal for the province and for me too,” Allen mentioned. — Lane



Redesign, rebuild, reclaim

Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre has new roofing, siding, home windows, bogs, hockey forums, glass and an ice resurfacing gadget.

All it wishes is ice. A pipe leak has not on time the hole for no less than 3-4 months, forcing an alumni sport Thursday to be relocated about quarter-hour northeast to Imperial Kent North Centre in Richibucto.

When the ice will also be put down, the rink will once more be house to skating clinics, video games and Friday night time neighborhood gatherings for sport and wellness because of the Hockeyville 2021 prize of $250,000.

“If we didn’t win, I don’t know where it would be,” mentioned rink supervisor and previous Elsipogtog First Nation band councillor leader Barry Augustine. “That $250,000 came in handy. It’s just, everything.”

Augustine wears a beaded blue, white and gold medallion given to him via the neighborhood when he returned to Elsipogtog First Nation in 2012 after 8 years within the Canadian Navy. He additionally served at the neighborhood’s band council, a type of the city executive, for 10 years masking 3 phrases.

Another council member used to be Craig “Jumbo” Sock, a significant participant in the back of the successful bid. Eight days earlier than Elsipogtog First Nation received Hockeyville in April 2021, Sock used to be misplaced at sea when his fishing boat capsized off the Nova Scotia coast.

Sock stored 3 workforce participants. One used to be Augustine’s son, Justus.

The present band councillor, or leader, is Arren Sock, Craig Sock’s cousin. He’s served for 10 years.

“After losing ‘Jumbo,’ and all that … it was kind of hard on me,” Augustine mentioned. “I was away from the community for at least eight years. ‘Jumbo’ took me under his wing, showed me the ropes and how to help out the community in the right way. Everyone loved him here because he would always, if someone didn’t have a shirt, he would take it right off and give you that shirt. So when we lost ‘Jumbo’ it was hard for our community, but by winning Kraft Hockeyville, it healed us. It really helped us.” — Lane

Video: History of Chief Young Eagle Rec Center in Elsipogtog


Head video games

Creativity used to be required to get spotted via the gamers from the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators as they arrived at Steele Community Center on Thursday to start arrangements for his or her preseason sport later Thursday.

Fortunately, Reed Goodyear and Benjamin Tuff, two 11-year-olds from Gander, had a plan.

Goodyear, dressed in a Nick Suzuki jersey, had a sIgn pronouncing that he would industry Fudgee-O’s, a well-known Canadian cookie logo, for a puck. He even had the pack of cookies to ship.

“I was just trying to figure out something to get Cole Caufield’s attention,” Goodyear mentioned of the Canadiens ahead. “Hopefully he will give me a puck because I don’t have tickets to the game, only the practice.”

Eventually, the plan labored. 

Goodyear did not get the puck, however he did get the participant’s autograph on his signal. Then Tuff one-upped him, pleading with Caufield to signal his brow.

After hesitating, Caufield complied, caution Tuff it used to be an everlasting marker.

“That`s a first for me,” Caufield mentioned.

Tuff took the specter of permanence in stride and instructed his folks would to find his determination humorous, no longer frightening.

“I know it won’t come off, that’s the point,” Tuff mentioned later. “I will take a bath, but I won’t wash my forehead.”

Tuff’s brow used to be one in every of a number of strange locations for autographs Thursday. One pupil from Twillingate had a crammed puffin she requested Canadiens ahead Brendan Gallagher signal, and any other had Senators ahead Brady Tkachuk put Sharpie to his sneaker.

Mitchell Watkins, a trainer from Twillingate, discovered a special strategy to get spotted. Among the 200-plus enthusiasts alongside the crimson carpet, Watkins used to be one of the crucial few dressed in Senators equipment.

“I definitely stand out,” mentioned Watkins, partial to the Senators since 2005. “But`s that OK, I came to see the boys. I am surrounded by Toronto Maple Leafs fans and Habs fans, but I root for the Senators.”

His uniqueness labored. Several of the highest-profile Senators, together with Tkachuk and defenseman Thomas Chabot, diverted to ship a signature to his hoodie. — Roarke

Video: Sens, Habs enjoy Hockeyville in Twillingate


Lineup information

The Canadiens and Senators each and every will get dressed a lineup as regards to what their regular-season deployment may Look like for the preseason sport right here Thursday.

But each and every staff will juggle its best two traces.

Ottawa will transfer Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris as its best two facilities; Stutzle will play with Tkachuk and Drake Batherson and Norris will play with Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux.

“It’s an opportunity to see something without the expense of a NHL game,” Senators trainer D.J. Smith mentioned. “We will see how this goes. I am not saying we need to stick with it, but we certainly want to have a look at it.”

For Montreal, Sean Monahan will heart Caufield and Rem Pitlick, and Kirby Dach could have Gallagher and Mike Hoffman on his wings.

“They are both great players, a lot of skill,” mentioned Monahan, who made his debut for the Canadiens in a 5-4 preseason loss to the Senators on Tuesday. “I am looking forward to playing with them.

Monahan is recovering from season-ending hip surgery with the Calgary Flames last season. He was traded to the Canadiens on Aug. 18.

“I wish to be at my easiest opening night time,” he said. “It’s simply been a protracted highway for me. I believe the most important factor is feeling just right bodily. This is the most important day for me.”

Juraj Slafkovsky, the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NHL Draft, will play on the third line for Montreal and Cayden Primeau will start in goal.

For Ottawa, goalie Anton Forsberg is scheduled to play the whole game. He is the likely No. 1 with Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with an upper-body injury.

Smith said Magnus Hellberg will play Saturday when the two teams meet again for another Hockeyville game, this time in Moncton. Forward Derick Brassard (illness) will not play Thursday. — Roarke


Introducing Elsipogtog First Nation

I’m settled in Moncton, New Brunswick, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 60 minutes from Chief Young Eagle Recreation Centre and Elsipogtog First Nation, a fishing community voted the winner of Kraft Hockeyville Canada 2021.

Elsipogtog means “river of fireplace,” and as of 2021 was home to 3,509 registered members (2,703 living on the First Nation’s reserve). Elsipogtog First Nation native Everett Sanipass played five NHL seasons for the Chicago Blackhawks and Quebec Nordiques. Philadelphia Flyers legend Reggie Leach is from Berens First Nation and won the Stanley Cup in 1975. At 72, “The Riverton Rifle” and “The Chief” is the oldest living First Nation person to play in the NHL.

“I believe it is a good thing for what they have got finished, how some distance they arrive and were given in the back of their neighborhood to push for [Hockeyville] and to rebuild their area,” Leach said from his cottage near Flin Flon, Manitoba. “Arenas in our First Nation communities are essential to us as it assists in keeping our children busy and assists in keeping them occupied and it is a nice development device for them. They did not have it for some time and now they have got to start out in all places once more and get the hockey program again in combination.”

A First Nation alumni game is set for Thursday at Imperial Kent North Centre in Richibucto, moved from Chief Young Eagle Arena because of a pipe leak that will delay ice installation for at least 3-4 months. Friday is an all-day celebration at Elsipogtog First Nation and the Stanley Cup will be shown around town. The Canadiens and Senators arrive in Moncton after the game Thursday and will walk the red carpet into J.K. Irving Centre on Saturday.

After Montreal and Ottawa leave town and Hockeyville Canada 2021 is in the history books, the rebuilt rink will honor Elsipogtog First Nation tradition, people and the memory of Chief Albert Levi and band councilor Craig “Jumbo” Sock. There’s a logo on shirts given to youth players at a development camp coached by Craig’s son, Tyrone. “Work Hard, Have Fun” is simple, its message the power behind the winning bid and conviction for a people strong and resilient.

Any questions, ask Jaime Carpenter, one of the organizers who learned to skate at Chief Young Eagle Arena and played at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire on a hockey scholarship.

“I am hoping that it no longer best presentations Elsipogtog that we are superb, nevertheless it additionally presentations all of Canada, ‘Don’t doubt us,’ ” she said. “We’re nonetheless right here. We don’t seem to be going anyplace. We’re able and we are excited to play hockey and fall in love with the game once more.” –– Lane


Time to party

After waiting two years because of concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Twillingate finally got to celebrate its Kraft Hockeyville win.

And what a party it was.

It seemed like the whole town showed up, as well as people from outlying towns to hang with the Stanley Cup and commemorate a pivotal moment in Twillingate’s history.

Justin Blackler, mayor of the town, stood on the floor of the bustling arena and marveled at the scene unfolding before him.

At one end, fans waited in a long line to see the Stanley Cup. At the other end, two local musicians entertained the crowd. People flocked to the merchandise stand and the free food. Kids shot pucks at the accuracy shooting station or mugged with Youppi and SpartaCat, the mascots for the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, respectively, the teams that will play in the exhibition game in Gander on Thursday.

“This is superior,” Blackler said. “We have a committee that has been working the display, other folks that experience given up hours, days, weeks in their time to make this an opportunity. People like me, the mayor, and town council reap the advantages from their arduous paintings. They desire a thousand thank yous.

“This place is going to be [full] for the next two or three hours. Tomorrow, we have all the kids in this community and the next community going into Gander for the practices for the two teams. That’s awesome, and the game tomorrow is just icing on the cake.”

Retired NHL ahead Stephane Richer used to be readily available, representing the Canadiens, for whom he performed on two other events all over an NHL occupation from 1984-2002. He signed autographs continuous for greater than 90 mins.

Richer, who used to be born in Ripon, Quebec, used to be blown away via the fervour for hockey he witnessed right here.

“For me, it was special because I am from a small town,” Richer mentioned. “To go back 35 years ago, it would be nice to have a hockey rink like this, at least have a chance to build something. It took 35 years to have a rink back home and the first one was the Guy Lafleur hockey rink.

“When they referred to as me to do that, I mentioned I’m in. It is good to look the entire youngsters with a grin, the entire other folks, numerous Montreal Canadiens enthusiasts right here. It is excellent!” — Roarke


A ride fit for a champion

The Stanley Cup got an unexpected escort to the community celebration at George Hawkins Memorial Arena, riding through town atop a Twillingate fire truck with full sirens blaring.

It’s a treatment that was once the province of championship hockey teams from the town, but the Stanley Cup also rated.

Before going on its joy ride, the Cup spent some time at the firehouse with many of the 30 volunteer firefighters who make up the department.

“It is fairly an honor, I might say,” said Craig Clarke, the chief of the town’s volunteer fire department. “There is a large sport the next day in Gander. Everybody is in point of fact riled up. There are numerous true hockey enthusiasts right here in Twillingate. It is a in point of fact good thing.”

The Cup was met by a standing ovation when it arrived at the arena, bringing a smile to the firemen who transported it.

“All the paintings you installed, you get your praise again now,” Clarke said. “The Cup got here right here and there’s a giant sport the next day. The youngsters are glad, and numerous older individuals are glad too. They’ve by no means observed an NHL sport earlier than. There are numerous glad other folks within the space.” — Roarke


Stanley goes to school

Youpi and SpartaCat, the mascots for the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, respectively, were nearly as big a draw as the Stanley Cup when the trophy found its way into the gymnasium at J.M. Olds Collegiate, the high school in town, for a surprise visit.

The gymnasium was packed with children from Olds, which has a little more than 100 students, and the neighboring elementary school. They were expecting a presentation on Hockeyville.

But when the makeshift hockey game between two teams of high school seniors ended — first team to score wins — the victorious team was told it would get a surprise treat.

That treat was the Stanley Cup. The kids went crazy when Phil Pritchard, the Keeper of the Cup, marched into the gym with the trophy in his arms.

Each class took a group picture with the Cup, the mascots joining in the photo shoots.

The kids looked at the Cup as they got their pictures taken. The older kids searched for the names of their favorite players, including Alex Newhook, a Newfoundlander who won the Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in June, Michael Ryder (Boston Bruins, 2011) and Danny Cleary (Detroit Red Wings, 2008), the other Newfoundlanders to win the trophy.

But it was the mascots who stole the show, doing the Electric Slide dance and mugging for the cameras. Kids raced to hug the mascots or take selfies with the furry characters. High fives were in abundance.

When the hour-long assembly ended, the teachers even managed to slip in some candid photos with the Stanley Cup, closing out an assembly that won’t soon be forgotten in this town. — Roarke


Boat ride on the bay

The Stanley Cup started its day here in Twillingate the same way most tourists do, taking a boat ride on the “Twillingate Spirit” on Notre Dame Bay on a picturesque fall day.

The excursion delighted the townspeople who stopped their walks, their jobs or drives to take pictures of the trophy in the boat.

The Cup even surprised a Canadian Coast Guard boat on its way out of the cove, the sailors clamoring up on its decks to find the best vantage point for the surprise.

Gordon Jones wasn’t surprised by the Cup visit.

He saw the boat from his house on the hill overlooking the bay and scurried down to the dock to meet the return of the trophy.

His industriousness paid off; the 72-year-old got a private audience with the trophy, getting his picture taken and touching the Stanley Cup, items that were on the hockey bucket list for the lifelong fan of the Montreal Canadiens.

The Canadiens will play the Ottawa Senators in a preseason game at Steele Community Centre in Gander on Thursday.

“It used to be so thrilling,” Jones said. “I’ve been in need of to look it for years, in need of to the touch it, in need of to carry it, however I were given my alternative lately.”

Did he ever imagine the dream would come true in this tiny fishing outport 90 minutes north of Gander?

“I knew I might by no means win it as a participant, so yeah, I suppose my best method can be Twillingate,” he said, shaking his head in amazement. “The Stanley Cup is heavier than I expected, so much heavier.” — Roarke


A grand day out

Twillingate and Gander are ready for Kraft Hockeyville 2020, beginning with a community celebration in Twillingate, the winner of the online voting contest two years ago.

Twillingate, a small fishing village 90 minutes north of Gander, will host the Stanley Cup and throw a community event to mark the victory and the renovations that are happening at their local rink because of the program.

Wednesday is a busy day for the Twillingate outport famous for its lighthouse, its position on Iceberg Alley and its whale-watching fleet.

It started bright and early with the arrival of the Stanley Cup by boat before embarking on a daylong tour throughout the town.

Later in the afternoon, the Cup will be on display at Hawkins Arena for three hours for pictures with the locals. At the same time, there will be a celebration on the grounds of the arena that will feature food and games, as well as alumni appearances by Stephane Richer of the Canadiens and Chris Neil of the Senators.

Thursday, the teams will arrive in Gander and walk the red carpet before morning skates. A player from each team will conduct a Q&A session with fans at the arena after morning practices and the two-day celebration will end with a sold-out game at Steele. — Roarke

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