“Hello out there, we’re on the air, it’s Hockey Night tonight”
For two Saturdays in February, Susan and I gave up self-inflicted torture sessions of watching the Toronto Maple Leafs lose to NHL powerhouse teams. Instead, after reading an advertisement in The Creemore Echo, we decided to visit the hockey arena in Creemore (aka Scotiabank Arena lite) to watch the local Senior AA playoff hockey series between the Creemore Coyotes and the Saugeen Shores WinterHawks.
We left our village home on Caroline Street West at 7 p.m. and, using the Waze app on Susan’s smart phone, we avoided the heavy traffic on Mill Street and the stopped vehicle on the shoulder of Francis Street West which allowed us to safely arrive at the arena parking lot at exactly 7:03 p.m. Although slightly disappointed upon our arrival at not seeing any valet parking signs, we were delighted to discover that, unlike visiting a hospital while suffering from a life altering medical emergency, parking here was free.
As we entered the cozy lobby, a slightly mature lady operating the ticket office, which was actually disguised as a small table, greeted our arrival in a very friendly manner. This lady mistakenly thought we were mature teenagers and attempted to sell us two tickets for that age group. This practice happens quite often to us when we meet someone for the first time and is probably a natural side effect of lavishly using the anti- aging lotion called Renew on a daily basis. In spite of being somewhat flattered by her honest mistake, we decided that we couldn’t possibly pay any less than the going admission rate for a senior which is $8. There was now time to visit the 50/50 saleslady who performed her financial duties in a far less aggressive manner than the friendly people who work for Bell Mobility when they want me to buy one of their fabulous new phone plans for only $150/month and my little dog too. We gleefully paid the sales lady $10 for 10 tickets and hurried in the direction of our seats before she came to her senses and wanted a more reasonable amount. Later that night the prize money proved to be worth $273 (CRA tax exempt?). If I remember correctly from viewing my latest TD bank statement, that amount is almost as much as my current monthly O.A.S. (fully taxable) deposit from Mr. Trudeau.
Drawn like sailors passing a Greek island of Sirens, Susan and I came under the bewitching song (smell) of the arena canteen operated by Donna Harper and her staff. We soon succumbed to the allure of freshly brewed steaming hot chocolate and a large container of fries. After dropping a mere $8, or was it $10? No, it was actually $8. Next, we made our way to our seats. Actually we soon realized that they don’t have seats at the Creemore arena, instead our entrance fee entitled us to have the temporary use of a 2” x 6” spruce (soft wood) plank in Row 3. Although our wooden plank was blue in colour, this location, if one was attending a Leafs game at Scotiabank
Arena, would most definitely permit you to sit with all of the suits in the equivalent of the Platinum section for considerably more money than the Coyotes were charging us.
Before we actually sat down on our softwood plank, we had remembered to BYOB to the game. For anyone visiting from Toronto, this, of course, means you need to bring your own blanket. I was deeply impressed that the Coyotes had made the effort to enhance our personal comfort by installing a large hanging electric heater directly above our part of the wooden plank. We generously shared our ceiling heater with several other fans who we noticed had slowly started to huddle with us as the game progressed. From what I have been told by rich people who have actually been there, this fan-friendly device is not available at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. What a shame.
Both of the playoff games that we attended, were fast paced, exciting, highly entertaining and incredibly good value for the money. I should mention that I did struggle keeping up with the frenetic play. As a dedicated follower of curling, I must admit that I had serious trouble keeping track of the movement of the puck as it moved up and down the ice in sharp contrast to watching a curling rock perform the same procedure.
In my humble opinion, I would like to suggest to the hardworking management group of the Creemore Coyotes hockey team to encourage the Township of Clearview to submit an application to the County and tap into the 2023 Tourism, Culture, and Sport Enhancement Fund and ask for some of the $400,000 to help pay for a new public address system at the Creemore arena and, if structurally viable, construct a replica Foster Hewitt gondola above centre ice. These improvements would instantly create the third major tourist attraction in Clearview following the Village of Creemore and the Creemore Springs Brewery. I would also like to suggest that Martina Ortiz Luis, who is no longer singing at Scotiabank Arena for the Leafs and is currently between gigs, with some gentle persuasion, she would probably be available to sing the National Anthem at the 2023-2024 season home opener.
Susan and I wish to congratulate Tom Macham, the coaches, the game staff and of course all of the players for their hard work and dedication in providing Creemore with such high quality sports entertainment. And lastly to the fans old and new, as Stompin’ Tom Connors said don’t forget to be “at the good ol’ Hockey Game” when the Creemore Coyotes start their third season in 2023- 24, I know we will be there.