Military nets Royal appreciation

RAdm Nigel Greenwood, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, and Cdr David Mazur, Commanding Officer of HMCS Vancouver, are joined by Darren Parker, Royals’ Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, at centre ice for the puck drop.

Story By: Base Public Affairs

A week ago, the largest arena in Victoria was brimming with hockey fans, including a large contingent from CFB Esquimalt.

Military members were the special guests of the Victoria Royals, the city’s Western Hockey League team, during their March 3 game against the Vancouver Giants at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

Front and centre in the military appreciation night were sailors from HMCS Vancouver, freshly back from seven months in the Mediterranean enforcing United Nation’s imposed arms embargo against Libya.

The Royals also donated more than 150 free tickets, which were given to deserving personnel from the Formation, and discounted general tickets for CF members and their families.

As hockey fans arrived at the Memorial Centre, they were able to check out the Fleet Dive Unit bomb disposal truck and see the bomb disposal robot in action. They also received a CF promotional item as a souvenir of the evening.

The pre-game show was all about the Canadian Forces.

Vancouver crew members formed the Flag Party on the ice while the Naden Band performed the national anthem. At the conclusion of ‘Oh Canada”, a locally produced DND video highlighting all three elements of the CF played on the megatron screens as announcer Cliff Lequesne talked about the work done by the CF. To the delight and surprise of the crowd, three search and rescue technicians from 442 Squadron Comox, hiding in the rafters, repelled down to the ice to hand deliver the ceremonial puck to Marty the Marmot.

“It is very special to rappel from the roof and land on the ice in a big event. It is a lot of fun,” said Sgt Robin Richardson, SAR Tech.

RAdm Nigel Greenwood, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific, and Cdr David Mazur, Commanding Officer of Vancouver, were joined by Royals’ Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, Darren Parker at centre ice for the puck drop.

Throughout the game, 20 volunteers from the Military Family Resource Centre sold the 50/50 tickets, which raised $4,052 for the charity.

During the first intermission, Navy, Army and Air Force members took centre ice for a fun relay involving puck handling, dressing quickly and tricycle riding on ice. The navy scooped bragging rights. In the second intermission, pucks sold by the 89 Pacific Squadron from the Royal Canadian Air Cadets were tossed on the ice in chuck-a-puck contest.

And when the buzzer sounded, announcing the end of the game, the Victoria Royals were victorious over the Vancouver Giants by a score of 5-2.

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