The DDO/Pierrefonds Midget B Blades were under the spotlight for a second consecutive year on Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) this weekend as the CBC had come to shoot a few introduction segments of them to introduce the traditional Saturday night hockey game.
CBC cameraman Mark Punga arrived at 7:30 p.m. at the Dollard Civic Centre last Monday to prepare the girls for the few segments they would have to record for the Ottawa-Toronto game of Saturday.
For 15 minutes, he took a few of them apart out in the corridor separating the locker rooms, making them rehearse their lines and getting them excited as the first of three segments to be aired at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday was to be shot in the locker room and involved four different girls.
Thefirst scene to be shot involved Punga springing into the locker room with the camera to find the girls screaming and shouting only to have them introduce HNIC and the teams that would do battle on Saturday.
After 10 minutes of tries and fails, the first segment was in the box and Punga who thinks it’s much easier to work with girls was impressed by what he saw from the Blades. Brooke Murray was the first one to speak and it was also her first on-camera appearance. She handled it like a pro.
“It was really fun but a little scary and stressful but I had a pretty line so... It was a little frustrating to have to reshoot it a bunch of times but I can understand because we did it wrong. It was fun, we laughed a lot and got to do a lot of cheering and stuff,” she said before pointing out that this whole experience is a positive step for women’s hockey in general. “We’re the first feminine hockey team to do this. I think female hockey is really coming out, it’s becoming a bigger thing now and this shows that.”
A group picture for their sponsor in this venture Scotiabank who had first selected the Blades last year as their first female hockey team to be featured on the show.
"The Scotiabank Hockey Tonight Kids program has been very successful with young people over the last three years, and we are very happy to allow more teams to experience this, said Marc Saulnier, branch manager of Scotiabank. Scotiabank has always proudly supported youth hockey in Canada. We hope this program will provide opportunities for young people to live an extraordinary experience in finding himself under the spotlight of the Hockey Night in Canada and the major leagues. "
The shooting resumed around 8:40 p.m. with two segments shot on the ice. While four players tapped their sticks on the ice while skating backwards, six more players came forward to the camera and two of them introduced Ron Mclean’s intermission segment. Jessica Senecal who was a part of the Blades’ experience on HNIC last year, was even more thrilled to be featured again this year as the
“Last year was a really fun experience but this year we really connected more as a team so it made it a lot more fun to do it this year. It’s a real honour to be able to do it twice too,” she said.
A third segment featuring goaltender Annika Traa and Jessica Turcotte was shot and before the clock struck 9 p.m., the shooting was all said and done.
It was really exciting for everyone. Half of the team is new so it’s a new experience for a lot of them. For those who were there last year, they are happy to re-do it this year. The new girls were a little nervous and did not quite know what to expect. We had a highs and lows season as a team but the effort was always there. The last half of the season was good so this is kind of a reward for the players and a good recognizance for the Dollard program. I hope it encourages young girls to play the game,” said Blades’ head coach Peter Galle.