It was standing room only in the Yellowknife Multiplex arena Sunday night when fans got a rare taste of NHL hockey - and for the lucky local players who got to play on the same team as the stars, it was a lifetime memory.
Eleven NHL players led by John Chabot visited Dettah before playing in Yellowknife on the weekend, where Jordin Tootoo scored a hat trick to lead the black team to victory.
The teams then stopped in Deline on Monday for some open ice pick-up hockey and finished up their NWT tour with a game at Inuvik’s Midnight Sun Recreation Complex on Tuesday, Nov. 20.
Hockey fans may resent the NHL strike, but in this case it turned into a rare bit of good fortune for Northerners.
Teams were split so there was a pro player line and a local line on each team. Local players upped their games and, happy but exhausted, had the time of their lives.
Chabot, who played for both Montreal and Ottawa NHL teams, had visited the NWT in the past.
“There are people who come here for one day and stay for 15 years, and there are people who come for 15 years and hightail it back to the South after a day. I’m in the first group.”