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Family fun on the horizon

Some lucky youngsters are being presented with unique opportunities during Tim Hortons Family Weekend

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Seven-year-old Justin Karwatsky isn't the only youngster who'll be enjoying a unique experience during the upcoming Tim Hortons Family Weekend at the Bell Centre.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Justin is a 7-year-old hockey gear head.On Saturday, he'll be an assistant equipment manager at the Bell Centre, as part of @TimHortons Family Weekend.#GoHabsGo

While Karwatsky is being tasked with assisting head equipment manager Pierre Gervais on Saturday afternoon, fellow Canadiens Fan Club member, Maïly Montplaisir, 9, will be showcasing her journalistic talents after winning the Hockey Reporter Contest.

A Grade 4 student and resident of Sorel-Tracy, Montplaisir will help veteran RDS reporter Chantal Machabée with her coverage of the game against the Florida Panthers.

"We're going to coach her by practicing the names of the players. We're going to prepare her mentally for the job," said Montplaisir's father, Dave, shortly after learning that his daughter would be paired with Machabée. "She's really looking forward to it. She'll be ready. Maily loves the Canadiens a lot. She loves the atmosphere and the energy in the building."

It'll be nine-year-old Sam Boro-Norman's turn to shine on Super Bowl Sunday when he steps up to the microphone alongside the voice of the Canadiens, Michel Lacroix, to announce the starting lineup.

The Outremont resident is being presented with the unique opportunity after winning the Fan Club's Lineup Announcer Contest.

His mother, Joyce, is adamant that her son can deliver the goods and make Lacroix and the fans in attendance proud ahead of the matchup versus Columbus.

"He's good at public speaking. He does a lot of presentations at school. We'll practice reading the names and numbers over a few times so he feels comfortable with it," said Joyce. "I know he can do it. He's used to talking in front of a group of people. He can project. He loves the team a lot."

Apparently, Sam really knows his hockey and enjoys playing the game, too. He's currently in the Atom ranks of the Mount Royal-Outremont Minor Hockey Association where he plays defense.

"He has a lot of favorite players. He was pretty obsessed with Shea Weber this past week because of the NHL All-Star Game. And he loves Carey Price," mentioned Joyce. "He was actually watching the Skills Competition at a friend's house last Friday night and I told him that he won the contest when he got home. He started jumping up and down. I was really excited for him."

Six-year-old Justin Trozzo and five-year-old Derek Abihsira have a special treat waiting for them, too, after winning the Press Gallery Tickets Contest.

Trozzo will be taking in Saturday's game from the best seat in the house, while Abihsira will have the same opportunity on Sunday.

Abihsira's father, Steve, is pumped about the upcoming bonding experience with his boy.

"Derek's pretty passionate. He likes hockey. He follows his dad," said Steve, a Côte Saint-Luc resident. "I see that it's already in his blood. We recently registered him for hockey. He learns very quickly. Even his instructor tell me that he's picking it up really fast."

It sounds like all of these kids are going to have a blast courtesy of the Canadiens Fan Club!

To learn more about the Canadiens Fan Club, click here.

To purchase tickets for games during Tim Hortons Family Weekend, click here.

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