This player identified as 'John' in a Youtube video of the event, can't believe his luck at getting to play hockey in front of so many fans.

Quick thinking by a Nepean high school principal made an old-timers hockey game a lot more exciting for its participants.

Earlier this month, the fire alarm at Bell High School went off, forcing the school's 1000 teenaged students outdoors where the temperature was less than -10 C.

So principal Mark Lafleur directed the entire student body into the neighbouring Bell Arena, where an afternoon rec hockey league game for men in their fifties was underway.

In a Youtube video taken by one of the players, he asks a teammate on the bench about the unexpected gathering of fans.

"So what do you think John?"

"Unfriggin' believable. Biggest crowd I've ever played in front of in my life," exclaims the player as the cheers grow louder and the kids packing the bleachers break out into 'the wave'.

Olga Grigoriev, a superintendent with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, says all reports indicate the huge crowd not only lifted everyone's spirits, but the level of play on the ice as well.

"From what I heard from the principal, the players were doing their very best to play at top standard," said Grigoriev. "And they were quite exhausted at the end of the game."