A young Fruitvale goalie will take to the ice with the Vancouver Canucks this weekend, a testament that dreams do come true, if only for one night.
Kai Tichauer, 10, will don his pads and Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association jersey, and lead the Canucks squad onto the ice Saturday, then stand for the national anthems prior to the Canucks tilt with the Detroit Red Wings.
“He is (excited) but I actually think he is a little nervous,” said Kai’s father Dan.
Come Saturday, the Fruitvale Elementary School student will be in the spotlight in front of a full house at GM Place stadium in Vancouver, not to mention a few million watching on television.
“The first thing Kai said was, ‘How many people are going to be there?’ I said, ‘18,000 so don’t fall,’” joked Kai’s mom, Kristy.
Kristy Tichauer entered her son into the Every Kid’s Dream online contest and much to her surprise received a phone call about two weeks ago.
“I said to my coworker, ‘There’s no way he’ll ever win,” said Kristy.
So when Canuck rep Rod Brathwaite did ring, Kristy thought it was a friend playing a trick on her.
“At first I said, ‘Ha, Ha.’ If someone’s trying to hurt my feelings, that’s not funny.”
The call was indeed legitimate; the contest, a partnership forged by the Canucks, Save On Foods, and BC Hockey where at every Vancouver Canucks home game one lucky player from a B.C. Minor hockey team will have the opportunity to fulfill their dream of standing with their hockey idols for the singing of the national anthem.
The netminding protege will get dressed in his goalie gear, and watch the Canucks pre-game warm-up from the Vancouver bench before leading the likes of Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins onto the ice for the national anthems – and of course, he’ll have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stare down Jimmy Howard, Pavel Datsyuk and the rest of the Wings.
All 18,810 spectator eyes will be on Tichauer as he leads the Canucks in their pre-anthem skate. Following the anthems, Kai and his mom will then watch the rest of the Canucks game from their complimentary seats.