Former Ottawa Senators star Chris Neil made an appearance at a hockey trivia night in support of Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, hosted by the event management students at the Heart and Crown in Barrhaven on March 20.
Neil gave the audience some insight into his hockey career by answering emcee and hockey historian Liam Maguire’s detailed questions.
“Your knowledge of the game of hockey is unreal,” Neil said to Maguire, which earned a laugh from the crowd.
A live auction featuring a jersey Neil had personally signed sold for $1,650.
The night featured a silent auction table with prizes ranging from gift cards to hotel stays, three ten-question rounds of trivia and a 50/50 ticket draw.
The attendees were also given the chance to buy “fortune puckies” for $10. They could purchase hockey pucks which came with surprise gifts based on numbers written on the pucks from prints of hockey players to gift cards.
Wyatt Sebrins, an Algonquin College electrical engineering graduate, felt confident in answering the trivia questions. “I’m a big Sens fan so I should do pretty well,” Sebrins said. He wore a black Ottawa Senators hat to represent his favourite team.
“We do look pretty young compared to everyone, so I hope their questions won’t go back too far,” said Sebrin’s friend, JC Poulin, wearing a Québec Nordiques jersey. “Anything after 2000 [and] I think we’ll be doing alright.”
The attendees settled in with drinks and food as the first trivia round started. With questions ranging in difficulty from “How many teams are there in the NHL?’” (Answer: 32) to “What’s the width of a hockey puck?” (Answer: three inches)
The event management students ensured the night was going as planned by checking in with one another and their schedules.
“[This is our] first big event as like professionals,” said Angus Macintyre, an event management student. “I’m proud of how we’re doing so far.”
During the first intermission, Cindy Manor, senior director of philanthropy for the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, gave a speech about her personal ties to the charity with a story about her son’s battle with addiction.
She explained that he started struggling with his mental health after he received a concussion and was unable to continue playing hockey, which was a great passion for him.
“I gave up my corporate career,” said Manor. “I decided I needed to do something more after they saved my son’s life.”
After two last rounds of trivia, the top three winners were awarded with their prize.
For first place, they were awarded four Ottawa 67s 2023-2024 season tickets, two bottles of wine, a hockey can opener and a mini Stanley Cup.
The prize for second place was hockey-themed coasters and a $50 Home Depot gift card. Third place earned a $25 Loblaws gift card.
By the end of the night, the donations to the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre reached over $6000 and still counting.