PEI

Thousands of students cheer on Islanders for school-day game

More than 3,500 P.E.I. students filled the stands at the Charlottetown Islanders game Wednesday morning as the team hosted its second annual school-day game.

Team trying different ways to reach out to the community

'We try to pride ourselves in new initiatives that are new and unique to the league,' says Jason MacLean, vice-president sales and marketing for the Islanders. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

More than 3,500 P.E.I. students filled the stands at the Charlottetown Islanders game Wednesday morning as the team hosted its second annual school-day game.

The Islanders hosted the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in front of a capacity crowd as students enjoyed a hockey-themed field trip.

"We were looking at ways to give back to the community and maybe give children who haven't been able to come to a game an opportunity to come," said Jason MacLean, vice-president sales and marketing for the Islanders.

Last season, the Islanders became the first team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to host a school-day game, giving many young fans their first opportunity to see a game in person.

"We try to pride ourselves in new initiatives that are new and unique to the league and kind of trying to be the leader on some fronts," MacLean said. "When we looked at it we said this is one of those opportunities we could do it, so we took advantage of it."

Grade 4 students Carson Roche and John Thomas Hale, from Donagh Regional School, enjoyed watching the morning hockey game. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The annual morning game was made possible with support of Amalgamated Dairies Limited, Charlottetown Mall and the city of Charlottetown, which provided free tickets.

Reach out to schools

MacLean said the school-day game is one of the ways the team can "reach as many people as possible."

"There's definitely families out there who aren't fortunate enough to come experience this."

Tickets to the game were provided by ADL, the city of Charlottetown, and the Charlottetown Mall. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

Students went back to school happy as the Islanders defeated the visiting Drakkar 5-3.

"They have good players and they have really good players," said Grade 4 student John Thomas Hale of Donagh Regional School. "It's really exciting."

"It feels great," added classmate Carson Roche, whose favourite player is Islanders goalie Matt Welsh. "Because I'm a goalie." 

The Islanders said they plan on holding another school-day game next season.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Steepe

Video Journalist

Tom Steepe is an award-winning video journalist with CBC P.E.I.

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