The honour of the puck drop
The puck drop marks the launch of each hockey game, promising equal parts excitement and fear as players battle to win, however sometimes the drop represents something special marking a celebration of heroes in the community.
Recently, the SAIT Trojans hockey teams hosted three different puck drops.
The first to recognize Trojans cross-country runner Matthew Travaglini, who captured both the Alberta College Athletics Conference provincial title, and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national title.
The second was in honour of the Trojan’s annual Make Noise for Mental Health campaign, and and finally the women’s hockey team’s Trojans Fight Cancer campaign.
“It’s definitely pretty special considering the revolve around honouring pretty important people or recognizing people for their achievements,” said Dean Allison, captain of the Trojans men’s hockey team.
“It’s cool to get to shake their hands and recognize them for their accomplishments.”
As a captain at SAIT, as well as being a captain during his time in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League with the Flin Flon Bombers, Allison has participated in many ceremonial puck drops.
One of the most memorable moments on the ice for Allison was the SAIT Centennial puck drop.
The first thing the Trojans do when planning a puck drop is decide who is going to participate in the ceremonial drop.
Once they know who is going to be dropping the puck, they must inform everyone who is going to be involved, from the teams and officials, to the broadcast crew and rink staff.
Carpets are rolled out onto the ice, and the script for the in-game announcer is changed so they can address the crowd.
Finally, after the singing of the national anthem, the captains of the two teams will meet at centre-ice for photos with the special guest, and the puck is dropped.
Olivia Keough, the Trojans game and event coordinator, said the key to a successful ceremonial puck drop is making sure everyone involved is on the same page.
“Last minute meetings may be had to nail down the timing of events, or a reminder to coaches and officials, but that’s about it,” Keough said.
“From time to time, something happens where we may have to think on our feet a little and change things up a bit, but we have trust in our staff that they can handle any curveball that may come our way.”