Growlers eye a record 19th straight home win, and beyond
Newfoundland Growlers haven't lost on home ice since October
The Newfoundland Growlers haven't lost at Mile One Centre since October, and are looking to rewrite the ECHL record books this weekend.
A win Friday against the Maine Mariners would extend the Growlers' home winning streak to 19 games, which would be the longest streak of its kind in league history.
But Growlers forward Todd Skirving says it's just another day at the office.
"It's something we don't really talk about as much in the locker room," Skirving told The St. John's Morning Show on Thursday. "It goes on in the media and social media … but we're just taking it day by day, game by game, and hopefully we can come out with another win."
The Growlers' last loss at home came Oct. 19. Skirving said it's important to the team to win on home ice.
"We go into games and we go into homestands expecting to win," Skirving said. "Obviously at home we have a good fan base and we like to take care of our home ice. That's something we've been preaching all year."
The Growlers hope Friday also means a win for the Gathering Place in St. John's. The team is using the winning streak to go "streaking" and collect donations of socks and underwear for the community health centre.
"It's one of the items that aren't donated as much 'cause it has to be new," Growlers communications manager Ken O'Leary said.
O'Leary said the ECHL encourages teams to have fun with promotions and help their communities at the same time.
"We have the opportunity to loosen our ties a bit with this league, and socks and underwear just made sense," O'Leary said.
I"t's funny and some people kind of smirk … but it hits home and it's important. Yes, we can smirk and be funny about it, but it's critical to the Gathering Place."
The team is asking the public to bring new packages of socks and underwear to Friday's game to throw on the ice during the first intermission. The Growlers aren't the only ones streaking, as mascot Buddy the Puffin will also be doing his part.
Skirving and his Growlers teammates have been keen on helping the community since the team's inception in 2018, from visiting children's hospitals to shovelling driveways during last month's record blizzard.
"I think that it's important to give back to the community you play in," Skirving said. "It's kind of a way of me helping the team off the ice too."
"I love it here. I always joke around with the Newfoundland guys all the time.… I say I'm a Newfoundlander. I'm not honorary anymore."
With files from The St. John's Morning Show