Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Whitehorse Star

FAMED BROADCASTER RETURNS – Ron MacLean is returning to where his love for hockey began this weekend, when Hometown Hockey visits Whitehorse. Above, MacLean and Coach’s Corner star Don Cherry broadcasted live from Takhini Arena Feb. 12, 2011 during Hockey Day in Canada.

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Photo by Marcel Vander Wier

ELEMENTARY CHAMPS – Christ the King’s Joey Schultz wheels out of his own zone with the puck during the goldmedal game of the Elementary Hockey Tournament at the Canada Games Centre, Wednesday. Schultz scored twice in a 4-2 win over Golden Horn, while Holy Family won bronze in a shootout over École Whitehorse Elementary. Eleven teams competed in the event, which was a prelude to this weekend’s Hometown Hockey festival.

Hometown Hockey visit a homecoming for host

The face of Hometown Hockey is excited to return to his hockey roots this weekend.

By Marcel Vander Wier on January 21, 2016

The face of Hometown Hockey is excited to return to his hockey roots this weekend.

Former Hockey Night in Canada mainstay Ron MacLean leads the Rogers tour into Whitehorse, where he spent four formative years of his life in the ’60s.

“It’s extraordinarily special,” MacLean said of his homecoming this morning.

Now 55, MacLean fondly remembers his years in the Hillcrest community, where he first donned skates on his neighbour’s backyard rink.

“I was smitten immediately,” he said of Canada’s national game. “I became a Leafs fan, I think solely because my mom was a Montreal supporter and I needed someone to bet with.”

MacLean was four years old when his dad was stationed in Whitehorse with the Royal Canadian Air Force.

“Those were such formative years,” he said of his time in Yukon, which included two years at Christ the King Elementary School.

Whitehorse is where the young MacLean first strapped on his skates with the help of his neighbour, Dwight Riendeau, who knocked on his friend’s door and invited him over to the Clement family rink down the street.

He proudly recalls showing his late father, Ron Sr., his brand-new wrist shot, wiring a puck over the boards and into the wilderness.

MacLean arrives here tomorrow night, and will be joined in the Yukon capital by former Toronto Maple Leafs sparkplug Darcy Tucker and Hartford Whalers sniper Geoff Sanderson – a native of the Northwest Territories.

This weekend’s festival marks Hometown Hockey’s debut North of 60 and will culminate with a live National Hockey League broadcast from Whitehorse of a game featuring the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes.

Chase Blodgett’s story will anchor the broadcast, MacLean said. Blodgett made national headlines last year when the local women’s association drafted a board policy allowing transgendered players to play in the league.

But the fun gets underway already today at Shipyards Park, where fans can join mascot Hometown Hank and Whitehorse Huskies players for a slide and skate from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

More events will be taking place at the Canada Games Centre.

Saturday’s festivities will run from noon to 6 p.m. on the banks of the Yukon River, between Wood and Main Streets.

Saturday’s Coach’s Corner segment will feature MacLean in Whitehorse.

MacLean and company will then host an outdoor viewing party on-site Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., with the live broadcast on Sportsnet getting underway at 2:30 PST.

MacLean said the best opportunity for autographs and handshakes will occur during the broadcast.

The free hockey-themed weekend will feature a variety of activities and live local entertainment. For a full schedule of events, visit www.hometownhockey.com.

Several hockey-related acts will occur alongside the festival, including a banner-raising ceremony honouring the territory’s recent standout squads prior to Friday night’s Huskies game at Takhini Arena.

Scotiabank, a festival sponsor, is also slated to donate $15,000 to Whitehorse minor hockey.

Comments (3)

Up 6 Down 1

Joseph Cull on Jan 22, 2016 at 1:36 am

Very interested and being a hockey fan and having a son and two Grand children in Whitehorse, also having a few visits to that city, it means a lot to us.

Up 6 Down 1

Simon LeBlanc on Jan 21, 2016 at 6:56 pm

I was a teacher at Christ the King Elementary when Ron MacLean was a student there. I was a friend of the Clement family as well. I taught the Clement children.

Up 22 Down 9

Micki Deuling Kenyon on Jan 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm

FYI. Darcy Tucker played junior hockey Kamloops Blazers with Jarrett Deuling who, as you know, grew up and played in the Whitehorse Minor Hockey leagues before leading the Kamloops Blazers to Memorial Cup and then being drafted and playing a few games with the New York Islanders.

This is just information for your sports writers to give some local Colorado with Darcy Tucker in town.

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