MONTREAL – A sell-out crowd of close to 4,000 is expected to pack the Verdun Auditorium on Friday, Dec. 2 to see a rare morning hockey game between the McGill University Redmen and the Royal Military College Paladins from Kingston, Ont. The venue was moved from McGill’s McConnell Arena to Verdun as a part of a “Score with School Program”, by Rooths Sports Events in conjunction with McGill Athletics and Recreation.
Students from 15 local schools under the English Montreal School Board and the Lester B. Pearson School Board will be in attendance at the Ontario University Athletics conference game, which is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m.
The long-standing McGill-RMC series began in 1892 and is the second-oldest hockey rivalry in North America. Under the guidance of head coach Kelly Nobes, the Redmen are currently ranked No.2 in the nation and sit atop the OUA East Division standings with a 12-1-2 record. They will be looking for a fifth consecutive victory when they face-off against RMC (2-11-1), coached by former McGill defenceman Adam Shell, a native of Dollard des Ormeaux.
This event, initiated in 2009 by the Montreal Juniors when they played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, will introduce students to CIS men’s hockey and provide them with an opportunity to be inspired by a number of athletes, including former Montreal Alouettes lineman Steve Charbonneau, who will illustrate the importance of focusing on education and striving for a university degree. Over the past two months, members of the McGill men’s and women’s hockey teams have been visiting schools with the message that one can get a university degree and still play elite sports.
Mara Peixinho, a 15-year old 10th grader from Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount, will sing the national anthem. She recently gained notice for her star performance in the Super Fantastico singing contest.
Filling the stands from the EMSB will be students from Marymount Academy in NDG, Lauren Hill Academy in St. Laurent, John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel, John Paul I High School and Pierre de Coubertin Elementary in St. Léonard and the Sports-Etudes program from Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North.
Representing the LBPSB will be Allion Elementary in LaSalle, St. Charles Elementary in Pierrefonds, St. Lawrence Senior Academy in LaSalle, Greendale Elementary in Pierrefonds, Sherwood Forest and St. Edmund Elementary, both from Beaconsfield, Thorndale Elementary in Pierrefonds, Verdun Elementary in Verdun and Westpark Elementary in Dollard des Ormeaux.