Our 18th stop on the Hometown Hockey tour took us to Abbotsford, B.C., 30 minutes down the road from our 17th stop. A city known for its agriculture and hockey heroes, it’s here where local hockey icon Brendan Morrison cut his teeth and where Vancouver Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen found his calling. Abbotsford also has one of the largest Punjabi populations in the country, and we were once again joined by the Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi broadcast team who reminded us how hockey is a way of life for all Canadians.
The city of Abbotsford has been so welcoming. Especially when it came to city spirit found at a ball hockey tournament.
Onwards to Saturday when, within the first two hours, Hometown Hockey had been part of three awesome moments. The first being a surprise meet and greet for goalie-extraordinaire Markus Stewart with “Captain” Kirk McLean.
Canucks rookie Jake Virtanen must have heard that Hometown Hockey was the place to be, and decided to come back home for more than a home-cooked meal.
And continuing the afternoon (and all within the first few hours), Canucks mascot FIN decided to take on Hometown Hank in an epic dance-off that will go down in history. It was a first for Hometown Hockey, but definitely not the last.
Speaking of firsts, Sunday’s show was a Hometown Hockey doubleheader, which was the first and only doubleheader of the season. Luckily we had Abbotsford’s own Chad Brownlee to help get us through both games.
The desk was full of special guests for both shows, including McLean, Morrison, Mike Blais, Sportsnet’s own Caroline Cameron, Meghan Agosta and Bhupinder Hundal from the Punjabi Broadcast Team.
What a weekend, what a performance by Brownlee and what a broadcast. With a win for the Vancouver Canucks, this weekend will stand out in our Hometown Hockey minds as a stop to be rivalled.
Thank you, Abbotsford.