This new hockey ritual could get expensive

Paula Tessier
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I could walk under a ladder, following a black cat, after knocking over and smashing a mirror, all on Friday the 13th, and none of it would bother me.

Superstitions are generally not part of my daily concerns. Raising three young men and coming out in one piece every day is challenge enough. I don’t need incidentals like picking up lonesome pennies for good luck, or wondering where I put that pesky lucky rabbit’s foot.

There is, however, one exception to that rule with me, and it’s a big one that I hope will happen every single year: hockey playoffs.

When it comes to daily life I pay absolutely no heed to what is presumably good or bad luck. When it comes to hockey, even the smallest detail counts.

My beloved Leafs are probably sick of the golf course by now, so they’ve given me absolutely no need to concern myself with what time we turn on our lucky Leaf lights before the drop of the puck. Our IceCaps? Well that’s another story.

Hubby and I practically base our social lives around the home games. Go out with friends for a few nachos? Sure — after the game, of course. Go around the bay for the night? Not if the IceCaps are home and lacing up.

We enjoyed a full season of cheering them on, coaching from the sidelines, eating more than one plate of Ziggy fries, drinking my weight in tea at the games, and celebrating sticks raised high in the air at the end of the victorious games. It’s been outstanding.

But now we’re in the Conference finals, one of only four teams left. The IceCaps have exceptional fan support. I’d venture to say no other AHL team has packed houses breaking decibel levels with each passing game.

So when the team asks for “whiteout conditions” by encouraging fans to wear white during the home games, hubs and I are in 100 per cent.

White shirts are broken out for every drop of the puck at home, and even if the rink is a little chilly, our jackets are off in order to show our full, whiteout support.

The day of the last home game before this new series, I realized that none of my three white go-to shirts were clean with no time to go through the wash and dry cycles. So I hopped in the car, drove five minutes to a local clothing store, and purchased an inexpensive, basic white shirt. Ah, there, all ready again.

Well, our team won that game, ended that series, guaranteed their spot in these Conference finals, and we couldn’t be happier.

So, the first game of this series, what did I do but break out that exact same shirt again.

Now, before you think this is pure foolishness, let me point out that the anthem singer stays the same during consecutive wins, and the massive Canadian flag that travels over the crowd during the Canadian National Anthem will start from the same place as it did before if the previous game was a winner. So clearly, breaking out the same shirt was not only sensible, but necessary.

We lost that game.

Along with my disappointment was the questioning of where I went wrong. The white shirt was out, the exact same one I wore when our guys won the last series.

Then it hit me: it was a brand new, never worn shirt. I wonder.

So, for the second home game, coincidentally after a small shopping excursion from the weekend before, the tag was ripped off a cute white blouse I’d purchased for work.

Wouldn’t you know it, our IceCaps won. My playoff superstition light went on faster than the goal light behind the opposing team’s net when we score.

Our guys are on the road for the next three games, but if this series goes to seven and we win, the Calder Cup championship series will follow.

With potentially six more home games left, I’ll need to find a sale, a really good sale, but rest assured, it will happen.

Go Caps Go.

Email Paula Tessier at

Organizations: IceCaps, Canadian National Anthem

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