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Bulletin: Second annual Canadian Forces appreciation night

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators

Senators host 1,500 Canadian Forces members and their families on March 2

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators today announced that their home game against the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, will be dedicated to the Canadian Forces. In partnership with other local businesses, the Senators will host more than 1,500 of Canada's soldiers, sailors and air personnel, including many just back from service with Task Force Afghanistan. Family members are also in on the fun.

"The Ottawa Senators are proud to recognize the Canadian Forces, which resembles our organization in its traditions of excellence, professionalism and hard work," said Roy Mlakar, president and chief executive officer of the Ottawa Senators. "Aerospace, defence and security, along with hockey, are key components of Canada and Hockey Country's economy."

Defence Staff General Rick Hillier said: "I want to thank the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club for dedicating this game to the Canadian Forces family. Their continued support towards the Canadian men and women in uniform, who serve their country so proudly, is a testament to the dedication to achieve excellence."

The evening at Scotiabank Place begins with a reception hosted by the Senators. General Hillier will be in attendance to accept a Senators jersey on behalf of the Canadian Forces.

The game opens with the national anthems sung by Sgt. Sandra Clarke of the Central Band of the Canadian Forces, accompanied by a flag party from the Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa). Cpl. Rob Pyke, having just returned from assignment in Afghanistan, will drop the puck with help from his five-year-old son Tristan and Gen. Hillier.

During play, the videoboard will show messages from members of Task Force Afghanistan. The Canadian Forces Recruiting Group will also operate a kiosk on the arena's 200 level throughout the game. At the end of the second period, three fans will receive major gate prizes: A Day in the Canadian Forces with the army, the navy or the air force. During the second intermission, members of the Canadian Parachute Centre at CFB Trenton, Ont., will rappel from the roof to centre ice.

The game will be broadcast on the A-Channel, Rogers Sportsnet East (simulcast), Comcast Sports Network for the Washington Capitals, and - for the first time - the Canadian Forces Network (CFN) and the American Forces Network (AFN).

More than 2,000 Canadian soldiers, sailors and air personnel are currently deployed in Afghanistan. On any given day, about 8,000 Canadian Forces members - one third of the deployable force - are preparing for, engaged in or returning from an overseas mission.

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