"Which BCHL arena has the best goal horn?"
The options to vote were:
Nicola Valley Memorial Arena, Merritt
Hap Parker Arena, Powell River
Poirier Sports Centre, Coquitlam
Langley Events Centre
Island Savings Centre, Duncan
South Okanagan Events Centre, Penticton
To say that my phone "blew up" with messages would be an understatement. I was thoroughly flooded with texts all basically saying the same thing - the horn at the Dog Pound HAS to be on there! Of note - ALL the messages were from people/fans/broadcasters/coaches of OTHER BCHL teams. No biased/homer messages from local Alberni Valley folks.
Long story short, I send the league a message stating that they might want to consider they missed what most people to consider to be the front-runner in the league. After I didn't hear anything back for a while, I decided to make some postings on Social Media stating the same thing. The response was pretty much what I expected - universal support from around the league that the Multiplex horn was the best.
Credit to the league - as they were made aware that they maybe missed one when they did their poll. So they changed it, and added Alberni Valley to the list. So far at last glance this morning, its doing pretty darn good in the voting!
Well.... so far so good!
What are some of your favorite Multiplex Horn moments? Back to back OT winners against the Nanaimo Clippers, in a SOLD RIGHT OUT building? One of which was for 18 straight wins? That's up there. Marlon Sabo allowing the Bulldogs to stave off elimination, and then WIN the Island Championship the next night, again in front of a sell out crowd? Or something else?
The history of the horn - It's something I have talked about before, but for those that missed it, here goes...
It starts in the last city I worked in - The Pas, Manitoba, and the last team I broadcasted for, the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
I had the same job there as I do here, Morning Show host on the local radio station. The Blizzard rink was notoriously loud, but it lacked a loud horn. Gearing up for the Playoff drive, I spent one morning on my show putting a call out to anyone that might have a loud horn to get in touch with me. Long story short, an hour later the guys at the local train yard called and said "Hey, we just cut a triple locomotive horn off an old train, do you want it?
"Ummm, YES PLEASE" was I think how my response went. The horn was put into the roof and put into action - for Playoffs ONLY over the next couple of years.
When I took the job out here and it came time for my swan song on the air on my last day, I received a phone call telling me I had to go outside of the station. I had some special guests - the guys from the train yard. They had a giant horn with them and said "One of these hangs in our rink because of you, and we think you should take this one as a piece of here out there with you"
A very touching and cool gesture to say the least. Another horn, freshly cut off a train.
Then I had to move out to BC from Manitoba. In a Ford Mustang. Quite simply, I didn't even have room for all of my possessions, better yet a gigantic train horn. So it stayed in my parents garage at the lake. A month or two later I received a phone call from home - there was a bush pilot, who worked in Flin Flon during the summer, that was flying across the country in a float plane to work in Tofino during the winter. And he had a special guest riding shot gun. A giant horn! HA.
I can't remember how it exactly happened next. I at some point brought up on the air on my show, or to the City Mutliplex Staff of the Bulldog ownership group, that I had a huge horn if they wanted it for the rink. They all jumped in with both feet, and a couple of months later into the season, the horn made it's debut and it's been going ever since.
The city did a great job with the set up - attaching the correct valves and hoses, etc to make it sound good - as you have seen on the message board, part of the horn (its three horns all built into one, actually) is intentionally muffled. You think it's loud NOW....ha. It's too loud in it's natural form for the low roof here - it had quite a neat sound in OCN with it's high arched wooden roof. The echo was something, so say the least! But it also wasn't charged like the horn here always was. It had a hose 100 feet to the ground running off the compressor. A totally different sound.
Apologies to those here that think it's too loud - I know for some their hearing is sensitive. I hope it's all part of the experience and doesn't bother you too much. One of the best things without question in the Alberni Valley is that the hockey rink doesn't resemble the library when it comes to noise!
UPDATE - Took me a while to write this and post this - The Dog Pound is now at 62%!