By Jensen, Randy on March 15, 2019.
Like father, like son, 25 years later.
Dana McKechnie was back in his Pronghorns No. 12 jersey Thursday night at the Enmax Centre.
It was pregame for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s hockey team, but on this night, despite that No. 12 Horns jersey on his back, McKechnie wasn’t in the starting lineup.
Instead, this night was about McKechnie’s son, Sam, and the 2018-19 incarnation of the Pronghorns as the team skated into the USPORTS University Cup Men’s Hockey Championship, the same one Dana won 25 years ago with the Pronghorns.
And like the father wore a quarter century earlier, there was the son decked out in No. 12.
“It’s truly special,” said Dana. “I don’t think I could’ve done it in a better way than this. It’s impressive that we’re here 25 years after we did it and Sam is playing. I’m so proud of him and so proud of this team and the coaching staff and the fact that we made the playoffs and now they’re in the tournament, it’s outstanding.”
On Thursday night, members of the 1994 Pronghorns gathered for a reunion before taking the ice in a pregame ceremony.
Some of the former members of that 1994 squad who have gone on to higher-profile hockey jobs were unable to attend, but were able to chime in via social media.
“I got a tweet today from (then Pronghorns coach and current Toronto Maple Leafs head coach) Mike Babcock and he said his son was one (in 1994), the boys were born at the same time,” said Dana. “It’s actually unimaginable on how you look back and think about all the connections and wonderful stories you have to tell.”
“I’m sitting here and my son is going to play this game and some of these old, kindred spirits and friends that we built such an amazing story with over the years come back together. It’s like we never really left, it’s awesome.”
The 1994 Pronghorns title was won in Toronto, but it was fitting the silver anniversary of the achievement took place back in southern Alberta.
“It’s funny you say that because here I am 25 years later reflecting and reminiscing with teammates,” said Dana. “It’s so special to be in the atmosphere and the city, the team and the university.”
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