Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jet lands, parents proud

Hockey-happy pair knows name for baby

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Well, he didn't want to miss Hockey Day in Canada.

Jet Sawatzky -- that's his name -- arrived at 3:02 a.m. Saturday and was watching the Winnipeg-Pittsburgh hockey game and munching on Tostitos chips -- not really Tostitos but he was feeding -- that same afternoon.

Yes, Jet mania knows no bounds.

However, parents Ivy and Kevin Sawatzky had plenty of good reasons for their choice of names. They learned they were expecting on the day Jets owner Mark Chipman announced an NHL franchise was returning to Winnipeg.

"When we told friends, 'Did you hear the good news?' they'd say, 'Yeah, the Jets are coming back.' We'd say, 'No, we're expecting,'" said Kevin.

Ivy insisted she was not railroaded into the name by a hockey-nut husband, although she conceded Kevin rejected all of her proposed names. "I enjoy watching the games," she said.

It was Ivy's brother, Terry Doerksen, who suggested the name. Mom and Dad both liked it. Being born on Hockey Day was sort of the empty-net goal that clinched it.

The real debate was over whether Jet should be the first name.

"A part of us really wanted to. We just weren't quite ready to be that risky," Kevin said. "I pictured him saying his name was Jet, and people rolling their eyes."

His full name is Thijs (pronounced TICE) Georden (pronounced JORDAN) Jet (pronounced GO, JETS, GO) Sawatzky. The Sawatzkys are not Dutch but just liked the Dutch name, Thijs.

Actually, Baby Jet was 12 days overdue heading into Saturday. Apparently, none of the other games on the Jets schedule the past two weeks interested him.

But the family showed impeccable timing with Ivy's delivery. The couple, who live in Oakbank, arrived at a hospital in Winnipeg at 2:56 a.m. There was no sitting around and waiting. Jet was out and looking for a hockey stick by 3:02 a.m

"We had six minutes to spare," said Dad.

If it was a girl, they were going to name it Noelle but not after Jet coach, Claude Noel. They just liked the name.

Ivy's brother even brought the first gift, a baby wrap with the Jets logo.

The plan, said Kevin, an administrator for Gateway Church on Panet Road, is to "make (Jet) a Jet fan from the get-go." So Jet was in front of the TV in the hospital room watching his namesake. "We're actually sitting here enjoying the Jet game right now," Kevin said.

Dad believed he saw early signs of a budding Jet fan. "Every time Pittsburgh scores, he seems to cry."

Alas, there were more tears than cheers Saturday afternoon as the Jets lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Now Penguin -- that would be quite the Christian name.

bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 12, 2012 A4

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