52-year-old rookie to play for Canadiens alumni tonight
Yellowknifer learned to skate after winning player slot in charity auction
A rookie Yellowknife hockey player says he's as ready as he'll ever be to lace up with former NHLers.
Bernie Bennett, 52, takes to the ice at the Multiplex tonight to play with the Montreal Canadiens alumni team against a team made up of Yellowknife Mounties and firefighters in front of a sold-out crowd.
He won the opportunity as part of a charity auction a few months ago. But there was just one catch — Bennett couldn't skate.
He spent the last several months learning and training and tonight puts himself to the test.
"No, I'm not feeling any nerves at all," he says. "Mostly what I'm feeling is anticipation and extreme excitement of meeting my childhood heroes. But it could change when I step on the ice in front of a packed arena."
Guy LaFleur will be Bennett's coach for the game.
And while Bennett says he may be the worst player on the ice tonight, he says he wants to score a goal.
It may not be entirely out of the question. When Bennett's story recently appeared on CBC Television's "Hockey Day in Canada" host Ron McLean compared Bennett's shot to former Leaf Wendel Clark's, calling it a cannon.