An 11-year-old Napanee Peewee Crunch goaltender now has her own place in the history of professional hockey’s most storied franchise.
On Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens invited Meredith Peters to the Bell Centre so she could see a game against the Anaheim Ducks — and, perhaps more importantly, her artwork.
Last fall, Peters saw information on the team’s web site about a contest inviting young fans to create a ticket design for the game. At that time, she told her parents Susan and Adam that she wanted to create a ticket that was “colourful and fun, bringing out the emphasis of families enjoying a Habs game together.”
Her design was bordered by the Canadiens’ familiar red and blue. It had the club’s logo in the centre, lit on fire by someone holding a torch, a reference to the famous In Flanders Fields quote “To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high” that has adorned the walls in the Canadiens’ home dressing room since 1952.
Around the logo, she drawings of the Stanley Cup with the number 24 (the amount of times the team has won), the team’s mascot Youppi, and three fans along with the tag line #GoHabsGo.
Her dad learned by e-mail that out of over 300 entries, her design won. He told her at dinner and Meredith almost didn’t believe her, Susan recalled.
“She kept saying ‘Really, really, are you sure?’ Until her dad showed her the e-mail, she said she couldn’t believe it,” Susan recalled.
Though Meredith had been to the Bell Centre before, this time was special because she was able to see complete strangers walking past holding tickets featuring her drawing. Another special moment was when a Canadiens’ guest services staff member brought a full bag of souvenirs down to her seat.
The experience was an uplifting one for one Habs’ fan suffering through a lacklustre year.
“She said the day and the experience overall makes up for the fact the team isn’t doing very well, so she will keep cheering for them hoping things improve.”