It’s loud! That’s the one thing that you can be assured of when you go to the annual School Day Game. The students who come are fans in the purest form and will cheer for their team unhindered by adulthood. The 2017 edition, held at the Canadian Tire Centre, saw 13,567 kids yell and scream their support for the Ottawa 67’s as they took on the Kingston Frontenacs.
It was a bleary Wednesday morning that livened up when the school buses started arriving at the CTC and the students started streaming into the arena. The first entertainment of the day was when the camera started zooming in on the kids. Cue a lot of giggling, squealing, dabbing, hiding, more squealing and more dabbing.
Down at the ice, the teams had begun their warmup and the students, those that were lucky to be closer to the rink, were all standing against the glass and watching the action in awe. Needless to say it was the 67’s side that had more kids lined up and witnessed constant slapping of the glass, to provide encouragement for the players.
As the 67’s came onto the ice for the start of the game, they got a loud cheer – something that was going to be the order of the day. The 67’s fell behind by three goals quickly and that seemed to dull the atmosphere a bit. But then in then late in first period, Kingston’s Jacob Paquette and Ottawa’s Travis Barron brought the crowd back to life by ‘exchanging pleasantries’ at centre ice.
The intermission was about more dancing, more squealing and dabbing when the camera was zoomed in and doing the wave. When asked whether this was better than being in school, the students answered with a resoundingly loud cheer. The action got underway in the second period and the 67’s conceded another goal. But the Barber Poles would score to break the goose egg and that proved the loudest cheer that was heard until then.
During the second intermission the school students brought the roof down. There was a cheering competition between the lower section and the upper section. The lower section did their best but then the upper section let out a collective yell that made many adults put their fingers in their ears. And that happened 3-4 times. So one can imagine the din. Clearly, the upper section were the winners in that competition.
There was also a loud cheer for the teachers who deserved immense credit for handling this enthusiastic and energized bunch of students who, no doubt, were still on high from their Halloween treats from the night before. After more waves and more dancing, it was time for the third period and though the ‘big comeback’ didn’t happen, the kids were still seen enjoying themselves.
The game ended with the 67’s losing 5-1 to the Frontenacs but it was a game that both the teams will remember for a long time because of the electric atmosphere. And so will the school students. And the few adults who were lucky enough to witness that cheering. The students, and even the players, will be looking forward to the next School Day Game. And if the 67’s were to win that one, maybe ear plugs would be a good idea. Until next time then.