Dubuque Fighting Saints trending in reverse

By: Tim Kolupanowich, Executive Editor

@TimKolupan_

Despite its long and storied history, there is always something new around the corner for the sport of hockey. Tonight will feature another first as the United States League’s Dubuque Fighting Saints will host the North American League’s Janesville Jets in the first game to be played entirely backwards. Legend has it Fred ‘Cyclone’ Taylor scored a goal while skating backwards while playing for the Vancouver Millionaires in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association in the early 1920s, so at least one player will get to experience living a tall tale for a night.

From finish to start, the entire game will be in reverse order, as a press release from the Fighting Saints detailed all the planned festivities. Fans will walk into the Mystique Community Ice Center to the staff thanking them for attending and when the game officially starts at 7:05, the two teams will shake hands before the three stars of the night are announced.

The play on the ice will then begin with a shootout, followed by a five-minute overtime period, followed by the third, second and first periods with the clocks running up to 20:00 instead of down to 0:00. At the conclusion (beginning?) of the first period there will be a ceremonial puck pick-up, then the National Anthem and finally the announcement of the starting lineups and pre-game light show. Players will be announced in lastname, first name fashion and even the team will be referred to as the Saints Fighting Dubuque.

As if that isn’t already amazing enough, the Dubuque has gone all out with intermission activities and entertainment during stoppages of play to be reversed as well. Instead of youth teams playing between periods, the FIghting Saints have invited local adult league teams to play. Instead of fans throwing Chuck-a-Pucks on the ice, the players will throw the pucks into the stands.

They’ve reverse engineered several staples of any game experience including the wave, in which the fans will start on their feet and cheer as they sit down, and the Kiss Cam which will be converted into the Break Up Cam. The popular Slingshot Bowling will start with the contestant starting at the goal, picking up the pins and scooting backwards on a sled to center ice.

When all is said and done, fans will leave as the staff welcomes them to the game, capping off a night unlike anything ever seen at a hockey rink before.

Fans looking for tickets or more information on the game can visit DubuqueFightingSaints.com or call 563-583-6880.

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