Whitehorse stop a memorable one on hockey tour: MacLean

Of all the stops across Canada made by Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour, Whitehorse was the hardest to leave, said Sportsnet/CBC sportscaster Ron MacLean. "We did a little bit of a staff party yesterday.

Of all the stops across Canada made by Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour, Whitehorse was the hardest to leave, said Sportsnet/CBC sportscaster Ron MacLean.

“We did a little bit of a staff party yesterday. The folks who put on this whole festival … they go to all these stops along the way and this is the one they don’t want to leave,” said MacLean. “People really are sad we have to pull out tomorrow. That’s the first time that’s happened. In the two years we’ve done the show, the crew has never wanted to stay. That’s the ultimate compliment.”

(Take that, Sarnia, Ont.)

Yukoners came out in scores to celebrate all things hockey over the weekend on Whitehorse’s Front Street. There was ball hockey, table hockey, videogame hockey. Former NHLers Darcy Tucker and Geoff Sanderson hobnobbed in the crowd. A minor hockey team got their photo with the Stanley Cup. Kids got free memorial jerseys.

The two-day hockey celebration ended Sunday with a live viewing party of a Carolina Hurricanes-Calgary Flames game hosted MacLean. Whitehorse fans watched Coach’s Corner happen right in front of them!

It was a slice of heaven for any hockey fan.

For MacLean, who lived in the Whitehorse community of Hillcrest from age four to eight in the mid ‘60s, it was a trip down memory lane.

MacLean played his first hockey in Whitehorse as a boy and last week returned to the very same rink in Hillcrest he first put stick to puck for a bit of shinny with youngsters.

“It was really hard to believe it was 50 years ago I was skating on that very same patch of ice,” said MacLean.

The nostalgia continued …

“The two teachers I had a Christ the King Elementary – Clare MacKenzie Stark was out yesterday, and today Marcella Brown, who was Mrs. Rosen when I was in Grade 1 – were both here,” added MacLean. “It was incredible to see them.

“Then I went to Takhini arena … and saw the Huskies and the team from Powell River last night. They wanted to meet (Sportsnet host) Tara (Slone), they didn’t want to meet me. I talked them into meeting me. I had a great visit with them and that brought back vivid memories.”

“He’s exactly the same kid he was in Grade 2,” said Stark. “He was just precious then and he’s just precious now.”

Tucker had never been to the territory, but has his own Yukon connection. Tucker, who played 14 seasons in the NHL – eight with the Toronto Maple Leafs – won two Memorial Cups with Yukon’s Jarrett Deuling on the Kamloops Blazers in the WHL during the early ‘90s.

“I enjoy meeting and talking to different people and interesting individuals. That’s what this tour is all about: learning more about the communities and especially about minor hockey communities,” said Tucker. “This one has some good minor hockey behind it. I played with Jarrett Deuling in Kamloops as a Blazer and he grew up in this neck of the woods and played minor hockey up here. It’s been interesting learning about that.”

“Thanks for the hospitality, we’ve all enjoyed ourselves and I’d be back here any day,” he added.

Scotiabank, a co-sponsor of the event, donated $15,000 to the Whitehorse Minor Hockey Association. There were also boxes of memorial jerseys left over – about 400 – that will be distributed to the communities.

“It’s like, wow! What else can you say,” said Russ Smoler, president of Hockey Yukon. “Rogers has been outstanding – so has Scotiabank and Dodge – to put on a show like this for hockey and for the community has been great.”

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

From Whitehorse to the Whitecaps

Joe Hanson is starting his second season with the Vancouver Whitecaps academy

Mount Lorne Mis-Adventure Trail Race doesn’t miss a step

Blue skies and sunshine for a chilly fall race

Canada Summer Games postponed

Yukon Canada Summer Games athletes will now work on mastering skills in preperation for 2022

Site selection for battery project draws ire of nearby landowners

Yukon Energy is accepting public comments on three possible sites for the project

Taking a closer look at the cosmos

Star gazing party scheduled for Sept. 18

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Nominations closed in Watson Lake byelection

Four candidates are running for mayor

Baggage screening changes begin

Passengers are asked to arrive earlier than normal in order to accommodate the new temporary system

Yukon Government extends education review

The final report is scheduled for release in March 2021

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Most Read