The Dubuque Fighting Saints are a Tier-1 junior team based out of Iowa who are entering their third season as members of the USHL. They've already won a Clark Cup in 2011, but a promotion for a scrimmage on Sept. 6 might garner them even bigger headlines than a championship.
When the Fighting Saints (what an awesome name, by the way) take on the Janesville Jets next month, it will as part of a controlled scrimmage. The hook? The entire game and fan experience will run backwards, like that "Seinfeld" episode when Sue Ellen Mischke got married in India. Here's their plan:
• The night opens up with both teams shaking hands and announcement of "Three Stars." All players will be announced with last name first, then their first name.
• Both teams will then partake in a shootout.
• After the shootout, a five-minute overtime period will be played followed by the third, second and first periods. The game clock will run up to 20:00 instead of down to 0:00. Goal scorers will be announced after those who assisted on the tally.
• A ceremonial puck pick-up will be held once the first period ends followed by the singing of the national anthem. The night will end with the announcement of starting lineups and the pre(post?)game lights show.
But the Fighting Saints won't leave the backwards stuff to just the on-ice experience. Fans will also be part of the festivities as they will be thanked for coming as they enter the Mystique Community Ice Center for the game and welcomed when they leave for the evening.
Even the intermission entertainment isn't safe from the backwards trick. The usual "Chuck-a-Pucks," where fans throw rubber pucks onto the ice will be switched to the Fighting Saints players tossing them into the crowd. The best idea has to be the replacing of everyone's favorite few minutes between periods: the Mite and Pee Wee hockey game. Instead of 20 kids skating around chasing one puck, the team has decided, in true backwards fashion, to feature some "grey-haired Fossils" to take the ice in a beer leaguer game instead.
From the Fighting Saints:
"It was a great night," joked Fighting Saints President Dan Lehv. "Everyone had fun. The team played great. It was the perfect way to start the year."
See what he did there?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy