With the NHL season getting underway tonight, Hockey Night In Canada prepared to announce the two finalists for their Anthem Challenge that will officially wrap up on Saturday night. As previewed earlier this week, there were five finalists who made the cut. The two finalists were announced tonight during Hockey Night In Canada's broadcast of the Toronto Maple Leafs-Detroit Red Wings game, and the song I voted for made it through. Now, I'm not saying I was the reason that song made it to the finals, but every vote counts, right? Like all the politicians in both the US and Canada are saying, you need to vote. And I did.
Here are your two finalists in the Hockey Night In Canada Anthem Challenge in no specific order.
Finalist #1: Colin Oberst - Canadian Gold
CBC bio: "This elementary school teacher from Beaumont, Alberta, is no stranger to the musical stage. Along with teaching the subject for the past 10 years, he is an avid music writer and a member of an Edmonton based band. Oberst submitted a total a total of five entries to the Anthem Challenge; one entitled 'Canadian Gold' possessed a Celtic flavour that Bob Rock found unique and memorable."
Finalist #2: Robert Fraser Burke - Sticks To The Ice
CBC bio: "For thirteen year-old Toronto, Ontario native, Robert Fraser Burke, music has always been a part of is life. His mother is a music teacher, he sings in a choir, participates in the school band and has been playing piano for as long as he can remember. Robert’s composition was initially intended only for his friends to listen to, but on a summer vacation to PEI, his uncle heard the song and encouraged him to enter the Anthem Challenge. 'Sticks to the Ice' made for a simplistic memorable melody and a favourite of Bob Rock's."
If you want to vote, please head to the CBC website and get in on the action! You have until Saturday to cast your vote!
By the way, Toronto broke out their alternate jerseys tonight against the Red Wings. This is the first time I have ever seen an NHL team opt to go with their alternate jerseys in the season-opening game ever. I'm guessing that the Leafs will wear these alternates against the Original Six teams whenever they play away from the Air Canada Centre, but this was a shock in seeing the alternates on opening night.
Then again, they may want to keep wearing them. After defeating the Detroit Red Wings by a 3-2 score, superstitions may set in. Honestly, though, the Maple Leafs, under head coach Ron Wilson, look a whole lot different than last year, and you can clearly see the work ethic this team has developed. The Leafs probably won't be able to keep up that kind of nose-to-the-grindstone effort all season long, but they will compete. And that's good news for Maple Leaf fans.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!