February 22, 2013 in Sports

Canadian prime minister turns heads during visit to WHL game

Canadian Press
Safety first

 Prime Minister Stephen Harper is going ahead with a plan to put heart defibrillators in hockey arenas across Canada.

 Harper was at a rink in Saskatoon on Thursday when he announced details of the four-year initiative that begins with assessing the needs of 3,000 arenas.

 An estimated 40,000 Canadians experience sudden cardiac arrest each year and, on average, only about 5 percent survive.

SASKATOON – Fast skating and stellar saves weren’t the only things that caught fans’ attention Wednesday at a Western Hockey League game in Saskatoon.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in the city for two announcements, surprised the crowd when he showed up at Credit Union Centre to see the Saskatoon Blades take on the Moose Jaw Warriors.

Harper arrived in one of three sport utility vehicles and was accompanied by Saskatoon-Blackstrap MP Lynne Yelich, plus about a dozen security personnel that included a member of the Saskatoon police canine unit.

He tweeted before the faceoff that he had met some of the Blades’ players and wished them good luck as they focused on winning the game to tie a franchise record of 13 straight wins. The prime minister was sitting behind the Moose Jaw bench when the Warriors’ coach was ejected in the last minute of the game, which the Blades won 5-1.

Blair Stenberg, who was among several fans to have their picture taken with Harper during intermission, said it was a great honor to meet him and a night he will never forget.

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