It was hard to tell which team was the more excited of the bunch gathered in Dressing Room 4 at Rogers Arena – the Seafair Cyclones or Burnaby Winter Club Bruins. The two minor hockey teams waited patiently in the former Vancouver Grizzlies change room with jerseys, sticks, and photos in hand. At 10:15 on Sunday morning, the first of many anticipated visitors arrived…Vancouver Canucks defenseman, Kevin Bieksa.
The Seafair Cyclones and the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins each earned a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in festivities during SuperSkills, powered by Rogers, on Sunday, February 27th. The Seafair Cyclones were the top selling team during the SuperSkills minor hockey fundraising opportunity, while the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins won the Danone Skate with the Canucks contest.
The SuperSkills minor hockey fundraising opportunity offers teams the chance to raise money for their season by selling SuperSkills tickets. The Seafair Cyclones stole the competition by selling exactly 1000 tickets, earning them a team signing sessions with the Vancouver Canucks. Second place was claimed by the Port Coquitlam Pirates, followed by the Chilliwack Titans in third.
The Skate with the Canucks contest, presented by Danone, received over 200 entries from associations around the province. The Burnaby Winter Club Bantam Bruins was the lucky team selected to compete alongside their Canucks heroes during SuperSkills.
Over the next hour, the Seafair Cyclones and the Burnaby Winter Club Bruins had the chance to meet and score autographs from every member of the Vancouver Canucks roster. When Andrew Alberts told Cyclone his jersey number, the young player was shocked. “There’s 41 players on the Canucks?!” Not quite, but he wasn’t disappointed with the two dozen he got to meet. Another player was anxiously awaiting “The Captain” and was quick to correct when someone mistakenly called Daniel, Henrik.
After the last Canuck, Jeff Tambellini, wished the minor hockey teams good luck, the Seafair Cyclones gathered up their signed souvenirs and went to their seats to enjoy the rest of SuperSkills. For the Burnaby Winter Club, the fun was just getting started.
The Burnaby team suited up and made their way to the Canucks dressing room. Inside, they grabbed seats next to their Canuck idols for the pre-competition briefing. Sitting should to shoulder with the top team in the NHL was a surreal experience for the bantam players, but before long they were laughing and sharing stories with the likes of Manny Malholtra and Tanner Glass.
The minor hockey players were divided into two groups and paired up with either the green or blue Canucks teams. For the next two hours, they competed in skills events including fastest skater, hardest shot, and accuracy shooting. The Burnaby Winter Club gave the NHLers a run for their money, posting an impressive hardest shot of 85 km/hr and finishing only milliseconds behind their fastest Canucks counterparts.
At the end of the day, team blue came away with the win, outscoring team green 16-14. The entire Burnaby Winter Club Bruins team walked away winners though, with souvenirs and memories to last a lifetime.
The Canucks Centre for BC Hockey, BC Hockey, and Hockey Canada would like to thank all minor hockey teams that sold SuperSkills tickets and entered the Danone Skate with the Canucks contest!