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ThisIsWhatWeLiveFor - Puck Luck 2011

by Derek Jory / Vancouver Canucks

There’s a saying that “Luck never made a man wise.”

That may be true, but it sure has made a man happy.

Jake Eby is the man in question, the man who misunderstood a clue and it led him to a pair of tickets to Game 5 this Saturday between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena.

Eby, a 31-year-old self-employed trader, took part in the Canucks Puck Luck challenge for 2011 earlier this week tracking all the action and receiving updated clues on Vancouver’s Facebook page.

At 11:03 a.m. Wednesday morning, the Canucks released the clue to Puck #9: “Thurlow St. & Canada Place – No towel needed for this Poole.”

The intersection of Thurlow Street and Canada Place is the site of Jack Poole Plaza, home of the 2010 Olympic cauldron. There is a pool of water underneath the cauldron and to discourage Canucks fans from diving in to find a puck that wasn’t hidden in the water, the hint stressed “no towel needed.”

Eby, who lives near Jack Poole Plaza and has a good understanding of the area, misinterpreted the clue so badly that it led him to straight Douglas Coupland's Digital Orca Sculpture, a ways away from where other fans were searching on the plaza.

As it turned out, his misunderstanding led him straight to puck #9.

“From the clue, I interpreted that a whale obviously doesn’t need a towel, so I went straight to the whale,” laughed Eby.

“I saw a few other people looking around when I got there and I just ran right to the whale and thought it might be hidden up top somewhere, thought I might have to climb it, but I looked down underneath and there it was, taped to the bottom of the whale.”

Whales don’t need towels, but that’s definitely not what we intended with the clue. That's evil genius material.

Thinking outside the box landed Eby a spot in the final 10 and he was invited to Rogers Arena Wednesday afternoon to compete for tickets to Game 5. From a designated spot in the stands, the 10 contestants had to throw their pucks onto the ice trying to stick it closest to the centre ice dot.

Eby stepped up after eight pucks had been chucked and dialed it in, landing the biscuit four feet from the faceoff circle.

“It was a little sidearm toss and I wanted to make sure it landed on the side that didn’t have the paper on it so it would get a little bit more slide,” he explained.

“My practice throw was feeling pretty good, the weight was good but the line was a bit off and I thought the line was the most important thing. A few of the earlier pucks were throwing up a blockade, so I was worried about hitting one of them, but I split the uprights and got it pretty close.”

Now Eby will be pretty close to centre ice again as the lower bowl tickets he snagged for winning Puck Luck 2011 are primo.

So who’s he taking with him?

“My mom is making the trek to Vancouver from Arizona. She loves hockey. It'll make a great Mother’s Day gift!”

Eby’s lucky puck has been added to the mosaic at, can you find it?

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