Memo to Bullwinkle: Stay out of The Pas. And we’re not pulling your leg, either.
Reflecting an historical hockey tradition where everything from octopi to slabs of beef to rats have been tossed on the ice during intense playoff battles, the OCN Blizzard have added moose legs to the eclectic menu.
During Game 6 of a second round Manitoba Junior Hockey League series with the Dauphin Kings on Monday night -- won by the Blizzard to force Game 7 Wednesday night in Dauphin -- the game had to halt for a moment after a rabid fan threw a hoofed shank on to the ice surface with three minutes left in the contest.
"Someone lobbed a leg over the Dauphin bench," noted Bradley Karp, the play-by-play voice of the Blizzard. "I guess it’s a northern thing."
Not necessarily. A moose hoof was once tossed onto the ice of a Manitoba Moose playoff game at the Winnipeg Arena in 2001, when the club was still a member of the American Hockey League. And fans of the Flin Flon Bombers, who currently play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, have long been notorious for tossing moose shanks. "They actually keep one frozen in their rink," Karp said. "At least, that’s what I’ve been told."
In fact, the last time a Free Press reporter ventured to a Bombers hockey game over a decade ago at the Royal Bank national junior A championships, two moose legs slid onto the ice in one game alone.
For the record, Karp said the moose leg retrieved from the ice cleaning crew is now "in storage," perhaps to appear again if the Blizzard can complete a series comeback in Game 7, after dropping the first three games of the series.
"It’s being kept a secret," he said.