Four members of the Fort McMurray Oil Barons had a bit of a wake up call Thursday afternoon as they participated in an on-ice demonstration of the Alberta Motor Association’s None for the Road campaign.
Killian Hutt, Brett Printz, Harrison Hendrix and Cole Penner shot pucks at the net while strapping on a pair of “fatal vision” goggles that simulate different levels of alcohol impairment. Needless to say, the Barons hockey skills ranged from poor to non-existent while wearing the goggles as few could even hit the net, let alone pick the corners.
“The first two or three shots I missed the net by 20 feet,” said Hutt, who first tried on a pair of double-the-legal-limit goggles. “I actually did better when I closed my eyes.”
AMA said having hockey players demonstrate the impairment of alcohol is an excellent way to reach young people and teach them the importance of not drinking and driving.
“We were really impressed with the Oil Barons team that we were able to partner with them as young people,” said AMA school safety patrol regional co-ordinator Elicia Grange. “They are such celebrities in this city and role models and it’s so great they can help make an impact and let young people know it’s not cool to drink and drive.”
Hutt agrees that many youth idolize hockey players and was happy to be able to spread an important message in Fort McMurray.
“When I was young looking up at guys in the WHL and AJHL was a huge thing for me and I thought very highly of them,” said Hutt. “I know personally if they were able to give me advice when I was a young guy I definitely would’ve taken it.
“We can only hope that what we do here helps spread the message in our community.”
By Trevor Howlett