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The duet

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks
A lot of hockey players want to be musicians and a lot of musicians want to be hockey players.

Lightning seems to have struck twice for Zac Dalpe.

At the 14th annual Dice & Ice Benefit, held Wednesday night at the Vancouver Convention Centre, tradition was observed when Vancouver Canucks rookies Eddie Lack, Jeremy Welsh, Ryan Stanton and Dalpe were called to the stage by captain Henrik Sedin.

Rookies have been ‘welcomed’ to the team in hilarious ways over the past few years, including a dance competition and having to act out scenes from movies – Alex Edler and Jannik Hansen acting out the ‘show me the money’ scene from Jerry Maguire comes to mind as a classic bit.

Few things will top what played out with Lack, Welsh, Stanton and Dalpe on stage this year, however. When Henrik invited Sarah McLachlan to the stage, the jaws of all four players dropped.

“Are you boys ready to do some singing?” she asked.

“Oh ya,” exclaimed Dalpe; “Can we do a Swedish song?” joked Lack.

Lyrics for I Will Remember You were passed out to the players, who were to sing the chorus. They did. Quite terribly. But when McLachlan went into the second verse, Dalpe sang right along and dropped jaws throughout the sold-out event by holding his own with the two-time Grammy winner.

When the pair were joined by the remaining three players for the chorus, emotions got the best of Dalpe as he blurted out “I love you” to McLachlan.

“I forgot I had the mic in my hand when I said that,” blushed the forward. “Everyone was thinking it though, I just had the guts to say it.”

This was no humiliation, no way. This was a moment Dalpe will never forget.

“Honestly, that was so cool for me. As an aspiring musician, to see her go up there and do her thing, that was so cool. I don’t know what I was thinking in the moment, but it was a lot different than playing hockey in front of 20,000 fans, that’s for sure.”

Dalpe’s secret is out – he can sing. And not only that, he can play the guitar. He picked up his brother’s dusty acoustic guitar a few years ago and taught himself to play; of late he’s built up the courage to not only sing while he plays, but sing in front of an audience.

He made a believer out of McLachlan.

“We talked about how to roast and embarrass them, but I hate doing that kind of stuff, so I thought I’d just get them to sing a song and then Zac is actually a good singer,” she said.

“I think they all did a pretty good job, I might have even let them off a little bit easy, they didn’t have to pole dance or anything crazy.”

The Dalpe/McLachlan duet highlighted another spectacular Dice & Ice benefit, the Canucks signature fundraising event that supports children’s charities around British Columbia, including the Canucks Autism Network, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and BC Children’s Hospital Foundation through the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Now in its 28th year, the Canucks for Kids Fund has granted more than $43 million to charities within BC thanks to support from fans, donors, players, employees and sponsor partners,

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music has been a grant recipient for the past three years allowing McLachlan to grow her non-profit school, now in its 13th year, to close to 700 kids who have the space, freedom and security to express themselves musically.

“The Canucks for Kids Fund is an amazing organization and they’ve been a huge supporter of the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, so this was a really fun thing for me to come and say thank you and just be a part of the event.”

In addition to a live auction and silent auctions held throughout the evening, the Canucks wore holiday sweaters for their introductions, sweaters that will be auctioned off to raise even more money for those who need it most.

Check out the sweater gallery here

It was another unforgettable night, especially for Dalpe, which begs the question: he will remember her, will she remember him?

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