All month long the Penguins have been asking fans to vote in support of Jack Rosensteel, 3, of Greensburg, as he has advanced through the three-part “Why Hockey Hocks!” competition sponsored by USA Hockey and Reebok.
It should come as no surprise then to the thousands of Penguins fans who voted for Jack that when the final results were revealed on Thursday night, he was named the winner of the contest.
Shouts of joy rang through the Rosensteel house when the announcement was made as several family members gathered to watch the final results.
"I feel like we just won the lottery," Jack's grandmother exclaimed.
The winner was announced during the first intermission of a game between the Women’s USA Hockey Team and Finland, which dropped the puck at 9 p.m., so Jack’s parents, Chad and Melissa, had to make sure he was awake for the announcement.
“This was past Jack’s bedtime, but we made sure he took a nap today,” Melissa said.
Jack won $2,500 in Reebok merchandise for taking home the top prize.
The Rosensteels, who were ecstatic to get the good news, said Jack had a lot of fun during this experience, including an invitation by the Penguins to Monday’s 5-4 victory over Buffalo.
“There have been so many cool experiences for Jack because of this competition,” Melissa said. “He got to go to his first Penguins game and Sidney Crosby
had his first hat trick at the game. Iceburgh came over and he got to get his picture taken with him.
“He has been recognized so many different places. … It was so fun for Jack at the Penguins game when people were coming up to him saying ‘Can I take your picture? You are the hockey boy!”’
The Why Hockey Rocks! contest asked hockey players, parents, coaches and fans across the country to submit videos 60 seconds or less in length explaining why hockey is the greatest sport on earth. Below is the video submitted by the Rosensteel family:
Jack’s father, Chad, said family first heard about the contest while watching the World Junior Championships in late December. Once he watched the commercial advertising the competition he decided taping Jack in action would be a great way to experiment with the new video camera he had bought Melissa for Christmas.
“I had just gotten my wife a brand new camera for Christmas and I thought ‘I am going to try this thing out,’” Chad Rosensteel said. “I just grabbed the camera, put his skates on, took him out back and filmed him right then. I really didn’t think about what he was going to say or what he was going to do. The video is just kind of the way it happened.”
Melissa said the family didn’t have any expectations for the video, but rather they were just having some fun.
“It really didn’t take too much time at all,” she said. “We just went outside and took the video. We just let him show his stuff. At the time we weren’t taking it too seriously.”
What began as a fun experiment in the back yard has become a huge success story. In addition to being recognized by the Penguins, Jack has also been featured on local news channels. Even though he is only 3, Jack is old enough to know that it feels “good” to receive the attention he has.
He especially enjoyed seeing his name on the Penguins official team website alongside the names of his favorite players.
“We showed him the Penguins website … he was just giggling,” Melissa said. “He was like ‘How did they do that?’
“He is becoming like a celebrity. When we go to the grocery store or to church people are running up to him and saying ‘Jack we saw you are in the finals and we are rooting for you.’”
Jack, a huge Crosby fan who is currently participating in a Learn-To-Play Hockey program at Kirk S. Nevin ice arena in Greensburg, has turned his whole family into die-hard Penguins fans with his love for the team.
“We would watch the games but we weren’t the type of people who couldn’t miss a game or we followed them religiously or anything like that,” Melissa said. “To be honest, neither one of us could ice skate. He was always into it – even as a baby. We turned into a hockey family because of him.
“Now we watch all the games. We never miss a game. Every morning when he wakes up he wants to watch the NHL (Network). Sometimes we show him the Comcast replays from the night before. We have gotten into hockey big time the past couple years because of him.”
Author: Jason Seidling