The Winnipeg Jets weren’t the only local hockey team to appear on Hockey Night in Canada this past weekend.
While the NHL club squared off against the Pittsburgh Penguins on a special Friday night edition of the CBC’s flagship show, it was the Norberry-Glenlee Knights 11A2 team that grabbed the spotlight during the traditional Saturday night timeslot.
The group of 15 youngsters from St. Vital was chosen as part of a promotion by Scotiabank to introduce the show.
"We were amongst thousands of teams from across the country (who applied), and through some luck of the draw we were selected," said team manager Wes Yamamoto.
When the kids were told that they’d be filmed on the ice and in their dressing room at Jonathan Toews Community Centre, "they went crazy," Yamamoto said.
"They knew right away what it was all about. They were over the moon. They all watch the show. They live and breathe hockey."
Right-winger Devin Barrett said the best part of Tuesday evening’s taping was "probably being with my team and everybody screaming into the camera. We were so excited."
He was also looking forward to a pizza party at Norberry-Glenlee Community Centre, where the team was planning to gather to watch the show.
Right-winger Rome Kostis said he was "pretty surprised and very excited" when he found out he’d be on Hockey Night in Canada. He said he watches the show regularly, and has often wondered what it would be like to have his team featured.
"I liked the part on the ice best," he said. "They filmed us taking shots and doing drills."
He said he was also looking forward to seeing the clip shot in the dressing room of the Knights slapping their sticks and cheering.
It’s been a tough season in the standings for the Knights, but Yamamoto said that hasn’t dampened any of the players’ enthusiasm toward the game.
"This takes the edge off a bit," he said. "Luckily for us, the kids have gotten along the whole year, and the bulk of the team is still there for practice all the time. It says a lot about them."
The team practises twice a week outdoors and at least once a week indoors on top of its games.
"They just love the game," Yamamoto said.