Young Cowichan skater lines up with the Vancouver Canucks
As the 18,000 fans at the Rogers Arena cheered, he was the first to step on to the ice.
The announcer exclaimed “From the Lake Cowichan Lakers, nine-year-old Alex Rudzik.”
Rudzik and his father John Rudzik of Youbou lived a dream come true when Alex was chosen to stand on the blue line alongside the Vancouver Canucks at the opening ceremonies of the Jan. 27 Canucks home game against the Edmonton Oilers.
“It was awesome,” says Alex.
Besides meeting some of his hockey heroes and attending a Canucks game Alex and his dad were also able to stand in the Olympia Tunnel to watch the team warm up on the ice and meet the coaches before Alex and the Canucks stepped on to the ice with the starting line up for the opening ceremonies.
“Alex and I had a fantastic time at the game, we were given the red carpet treatment,” John said. “Alex got to go on the players bench, pump gloves and high five with all the players. When Alex was on the ice he stood between Kevin Bieksa and his favourite Canuck, Daniel Sedin. He had the chance to talk to them both.”
Alex excitedly repeated a comment by Bieksa.
“He said he liked the curve on my stick because it was more than his.”
In a photo from the Canucks website (canucks.nhl.com) Alex can be seen standing on the blue line with the Vancouver starting line-up as members of the Canadian Forces rappel from the rafters of the Rogers Arena — part of the forces 100th year Celebration.
He and his father then were escorted to their seats high up in the arena to watch Vancouver lose to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2.
Alex’s father had entered the Vancouver Canucks-Save-on-Foods-B.C. Hockey’s “Every Kid’s Dream” contest last October and was chosen as one of 10 minor hockey players invited on ice with the team. This opportunity was open to 9- to 13-year-old members of the B.C. Minor Hockey Association.
Alex was also the seventh man skating with the Cowichan Valley Capitals at a home game last year.