The excitement filled the small dressing room, the smiles as bright as the added lights.
It was a big night for the Tatamagouche Titans, as the novice, atom and peewee teams were filmed to be featured on Hockey Night in Canada.
“I’m really excited,” said Lyla Baird, 8, the smile never leaving her face.
Her teammate, Bryson MacDonald-Forbes, was just as excited.
Neither watch a lot of hockey on television, but they both have favourite teams – Lyla’s being Pittsburgh, and Bryson rooting for Chicago.
For Bryson, it’s the scoring that excites him on the ice, even though he’s the goalie.
And Lyla? It’s all about spending time with friends.
Inside the dressing room, the two novice teams were the first to spend about 40 minutes tackling the cheering, lines they rehearsed, and keeping in their same spot they were placed. And they rocked it.
For each division, seven or eight players were chosen to speak on camera, introducing Hockey Night in Canada and their teammates, showcasing the upcoming games for their broadcasts, and pitching the show back to host Ron MacLean.
“My sons are obsessed with hockey,” said Tammy Wall, mother to 10-year-old Emmitt and his younger brother, Keean, 8.
“Our basement is a hockey rink and when they’re not down there playing, they’re in the living room with the mini sticks or outside. They are everywhere playing hockey. My oldest is a walking trivia of everything.”
With Emmitt finding out first he was having a chance to say a line, Wall was happy her youngest was chosen as well.
“Now there’s no competition between them,” she laughed.
Having the Titans featured on the program, sponsored by Scotibank, is important not only to the players, but the community as well, says Wall.
“I’m seeing faces here at the rink I don’t normally see,” she said. “They’re here for the excitement and that’s great. For Tatamagouche, we’re trying to be Hockeyville. That has really brought the community together, and this is an extension to that excitement.”
For more than 10 years, hockey teams throughout Canada have been featured on Hockey Night in Canada.
Corwin Reeves, manager of customer service at the Tatamagouche Scotiabank, isn’t sure how teams are chosen.
“It could be through the sponsorship program,” he suggested. “Every year, branches send in applications for sponsorship. Around Christmastime, we were able to give $1,000 to the association, along with nylon bags with toques and crests for jerseys.”
It was somewhat last minute for knowing the players would be filmed – about a week-and-a-half’s notice.
But that was enough for the hockey association’s president, Ryan Rees, to make the ice time happen.
“It’s pretty awesome,” he said. “They are totally, totally thrilled. That’s all they were talking about for about a week.”
He said with three teams chosen to be filmed, he’s happy to have been able to join the two novice teams and two atom teams together so all players are featured.
“It’s kind of awesome,” Rees said. “It’s getting Tatamagouche out in front of everybody and that’s a great thing.
The teams will be showcased on three different segments of Hockey Night in Canada. The novice teams will air March 4, with atom March 18. April 1 will see those in peewee on the screen.