Moments I hold close and keep in my memory chest are of watching Hockey Night In Canada with my dad.
While I was a girly girl and he was a chemical plant shift worker, it was something that brought our two worlds together for a few moments where our differences could be forgotten.
I would sit in my pyjamas, crossed-legged on our shag-carpeted living room floor, bopping back and forth to the organ’s original iconic song notes.
I would never see the end of the game as I was shuffled off to bed in between first and second period.
But the moments being with my dad and watching the action-packed games, punches, bloodstained ice and toothless Bobby Clark and Daryl Sittler are still clear in my rear vision mirror.
Sports brought us together, and I wanted the same closeness with my children. They tell me one of their best memories was when the popcorn went ceiling bound, flying into the air, while as a family, we saw a thirty-foot Sidney Crosby score the winning goal in overtime at the 2010 Olympics. The local movie theatre broadcast the live game, and when that goal shot through the American’s legs, even hotdogs were catapulted airborne as the theatre exploded in jubilation. Everyone was on the same team with the same goal – to see Canada victorious.
The thing I remember most about childhood hockey with my dad and movie theatre games with my kids is how drawn together people were in support and camaraderie. There was no bickering about politics or government. No differences of opinion in health measures or religious views. No class or social division.
The common goal was to support scoring goals and be in sync in that moment of reaching that goal.
I have become a fan of the CIHL, specifically the Prince Rupert team. This working-class league of players who hold down jobs during the day, stop at home to let the dog out and grab a bite to eat before heading to the rink to suit up for a 7 pm game, brings the community together.
The sportsmanship attitude and camaraderie of the team and fans are what I admire as we exit from two years of being separate, alone and divisive on issues.
I enjoy seeing the packed stands at the games. I feel lifted as unified cheers bellow across the ice when a goal is scored.
I want to invest in a scoring platform’s forward momentum and community togetherness. I have even placed a friendly wager with newsroom colleagues in Terrace to spice workplace companionability with a pinch of competitiveness.
Alas, I did lose the first bet. But I have faith. My favourite Rampage player promised me the win and that I should go double or nothing on the playoff games against the River Kings this coming weekend.
The stakes are high for the best of the three games — an envied gold plastic tiara bejewelled with pink hearts, blue diamonds and shiny pearls. Authentic dollar store vintage. A prize to be coveted and one that deserves matching shoes, a purse and Rampage jersey. Yes, folks, the holder of the tiara will reign supreme as northwest newsroom royalty.
Currently, the crown adorns the head of the Terrace Standard editor, which by rumour only, has it that he wears it around the office bedazzling his ball cap. I heard he may have even forgotten it there once during an interview – but I can’t confirm that.
So as workplaces in two separate communities, where many residents are itching to participate in active life now that some of the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, I am imploring members of Prince Rupert to join as one community. Join as one in the spirit of sportsmanship, create some memories with your children and neighbours. Set aside all differences and support the local team to make sure that crown is brought home.
See you at the rink in Prince Rupert on Friday, and Terrace on Saturday.