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3 Things: Dads' Trip Edition

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the Pens' Dads' Trip weekend. 

1. Dads' Trip

The Pens held their 9th annual Dads' Trip over the weekend. The players, coaches and staff brought their fathers for a two-game trip through Dallas and St. Louis. The dads accompanied their sons through practices, morning skates, the games, dinners and even got to tour Cowboys' stadium (see below).

While many of the dads were veterans and had been on many trips, there were a few new faces amongst the group. Boris Hagelin was making his first trip with Carl as a Penguin. 

"It was a great time," Boris said. "I've gotten to know some of the dads at games from the two Stanley Cups. But it was great to meet them and see them. The Penguins organization does a great thing for us."

There were many highlights from the weekend, but one of which took place following the team's Saturday practice in St. Louis. There fathers Doug Cole and Willard Reaves grabbed the mic from PensTV and interviewed their sons Ian and Ryan respectively.

Video: Penguins' Fathers take a turn asking the questions

Best of all was that the Pens picked up 3 of a possible 4 points over the weekend against 2 of the toughest teams in the NHL. The Pens are now 10-5-3 all-time when their fathers are in attendance.

2. Homecoming

The Pens Dads' Trip coincided with a few homecomings for a couple of players. The first was Jamie Oleksiak facing the Dallas Stars for the first time since the club traded him to Pittsburgh in December.

Richard Oleksiak is actually enjoying his second fathers' trip of the year. He joined Jamie when the Stars hosted their dads. And now they've both come full circle. 

"He's getting used to carrying stuff, enjoying the hotel rooms and good food," Jamie joked. "It's always a lot of fun to share this experience with your dad. It's pretty cool."

"I really enjoyed the Stars trip. They're a great organization," Richard said. "But I'm enjoying this one too, meeting all the new dads. It's an amazing experience."

The Pens pulled off a third-period comeback against Dallas to force overtime, but fell 4-3 in a shootout. Still, Richard's favorite part of the trip isn't centered around the games.

"I just like to watch Jamie practice," he said. "To see him out there playing the sport he loves and with passion. That's what I enjoy."

On Sunday, Ryan Reaves returned to St. Louis for the first time since being traded over the summer by the Blues. He was drafted by the Blues in 2005 and played his first 7 NHL seasons with the organization.

Reaves admitted that it was an emotional time. When asked if it helped having his dad here for emotional support, he smiled and wryly added: "Yeah, emotional support. I guess you could call it that."

Ryan then added: "It's fun that he gets to experience this with me. I'm sure he's having a fun time."

Will only had one hope: "I'm hoping they win the game."

Mission accomplished.

3. Cowboys' Stadium

The Pens' dads were treated to a tour of AT&T Stadium, home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys. The fathers saw the world's largest scoreboard, and were taken to the box seats, press box, luxury boxes and even got a peek inside the Cowboys' locker room.

"This is unbelievable," Boris Hagelin said. "You couldn't even imagine something so big like this."

The experience was extra special for Will Reaves, who played in the NFL with Miami and Washington, and had a five-year career in the CFL with Winnipeg.

"This is incredible," Reaves said. "I couldn't imagine playing in a place this big. The stadiums I played are like Little House on the Prairie compared to this."

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