As we get ready to kick off Season 3 of Hometown Hockey, here’s a recap of the Top 10 Best Moments of Season 2.
1.Octoberfest in Kitchener
What’s more Canadian than celebrating multiple cultures in one weekend? Not much; and given that our first stop of the season last year coincided perfect with Octoberfest in Kitchener, ON, it wasn’t surprising that both Ron MacLean and Tara Slone got in on the Octoberfest festivities.
2. The world’s oldest hockey stick
Hockey lovers in Gatineau were in for a real treat at our stop in Gatineau, QC. The Canadian Museum of History had recently acquired a very Hometown Hockey appropriate item – the world’s oldest hockey stick – and brought it to our site for all to see. The stick was hand hewn in Cape Breton in the 1830s and crafted from a single piece of sugar maple. Pretty neat!
3.The greatest surprise
Immediately after we announced our stop in Brantford, ON, everyone started asking us if “The Great One” would be making an appearance. We said no, but had to keep a big secret for a long time. Once the big moment had arrived, and in true Wayne Gretzky fashion, he casually walked into his old elementary school and surprised an unsuspecting group of youngsters. Relive every surprising moment here.
4.Taking a dip, Thunder Bay style
Up in Northern Ontario, in the City of Thunder Bay, there exists a large Finnish population. Over the years, Finnish culture has become a part of what makes Thunder Bay unique, including the infamous saunas, which can be found all over the city and nestled on wooded properties. While having a steam inside a sauna sounds like a dream, it’s what comes next that was a shock for our host, Tara Slone.
Watch the very surprising moment here.
5. Beyond Provinces
When Hometown Hockey was given the opportunity to go north (and we mean WAY north), no one one our team knew what to expect. What we found was one of the most beautiful places in Canada with an incredible hockey culture that is paving the way for complete inclusiveness in hockey leagues across the country.
6. A current Canuck comes home
There were a few stops that really made Hometown Hockey feel like a home town. As was the case in New Westminster, when Vancouver Canucks Forward Jake Virtanen dropped by for a quick hello. Jake took in the activities, posed for photos with fans and signed autographs before heading home for his mandatory pregame nap. He did have a game to play that night, after all.
— Hometown Hockey (@hometownhockey_) February 20, 2016
7. The Moose works up a crowd.
If you’ve heard of Mark Messier, you’ve heard of St. Albert. One of Canada’s most decorated NHL players returned home last season and didn’t waste a minute before going back to his old arena. Oh, the memories.
Watch more here.
8. The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.
Mr. Hart, we salute you. Our stop in Calgary was not only a homecoming of sorts for Tara Slone, but also a chance to bring NHL Alumni, The Calgary Inferno, and every minor hockey team in Calgary together for a week-long hockey celebration. Yee-haw!
9. When a fan becomes a star
We had a lot of fun hanging out with Jess Moskaluke in Prince Albert, and we were quietly enjoying her performance until, without warning, Jess invited an unsuspecting fan on stage to sing with her. At that moment, the smile on the fan’s face said it all. Magic.
A photo posted by Rogers Hometown Hockey (@hometownhockey) on
10. Winnipeg for the win!
We said goodbye to the season at our final stop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but not before we could dazzle the city with our largest mascot dance-off of the season. Seven mascots battled it out on the dance floor but who took home the win? Find out below.