Ron MacLean says there will be a Terrace Hockeyville connection to Rogers Hometown Hockey in Prince Rupert

John Crawford

As Prince Rupert prepares to host Rogers Hometown Hockey this weekend, Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean says he's looking forward to paying his second visit to northwestern BC.

MacLean was in Terrace 10 years ago for the Kraft Hockeyville exhibition game between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders and he still has fond memories of the visit.

[PHOTO:   Terrace is Kraft Hockeyville - Sep 2009] 

"I almost bought property in Terrace, it was so pretty -- I just remember driving around and thinking: why am I not living in Terrace?  So I will bring a puck from that Kraft Hockeyville game and present it to one of the children who pick the three stars after the show Sunday night," he says.

MacLean says he and his co-host Tara Slone, who is already in Prince Rupert touring the area, always learn a lot as they visit communities across the country.

[PHOTO:   Ron MacLean, Tara Slone -- Rogers Hometown Hockey]  

But they also enjoy being able to bring the National Hockey League experience to Canada's smaller communities -- and that's what Prince Rupert residents can expect this weekend.

"We'll have a little meet-and-greet and I'll get some stories told to me at that and so will Tara and the Parade of Champions, all the minor hockey kids will be there and it makes the NHL a first-hand experience right from the beginning; we'll have Dwayne Roloson and Kirk McLean joining us and sign autographs and the Stanley Cup -- all these things that we do are bringing us closer to the shows that we watch; in addition to that we get to reflect Canada to one another and to make it a screen-saver show like we will on Sunday with all the beautiful pictures of Prince Rupert -- it's a pretty special combination of rink rats and great scenery."

The Rogers Hometown Hockey broadcast will feature a half-hour live show at 4:30, and then between-periods segments during the broadcast of the NHL game in Edmonton between the Oilers and the Buffalo Sabres.

But MacLean notes local fans are probably in for a pretty good game the night before, when the Prince Rupert Rampage play the Terrace River Kings in CIHL action Saturday night at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

"When we were in Timmins, there was a huge brawl at the McIntyre Arena in the spirit of Rogers Hometown Hockey, the players were maybe a little too ramped up, so I hope it goes well, because those are two arch enemies doing battle, but I really want to wish the Rampage -- and Terrace -- good luck!"

The River Kings and the Rampage are currently the top two teams in the league.

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