Friday, November 6, 2009


Karel St. Laurent's famous mask is set for retirement in the one location where it will be enshrined forever - the Hockey Hall of Fame. The mask has seen around 700 shots in just under a year and will make it's last hoorah this Sunday at Harbour Station.

The mask is a trubute the fallen Pte. David Greenslade. The 20-year-old Saint John native was one of six soldiers killed on April 8, 2007, when their light-armoured vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb explosion. He left behind his parents Laurie and Don, and his beloved canine.

"We're honoured that, a year-and-a-half after his death, he's still being remembered. He was a huge Sea Dogs fan and he loved going to the games," Laurie told the Telegraph-Journal last year.

The mask was one of the highlights of a dismal 2008-2009 season. Along with a front page story in New Brunswick's provincial newspaper, the article was picked up by The Hockey News. St. Laurent was also featured during a TV time-out during game two of the 2008 ADT Canada/Russia Challenge on Rogers Sportsnet.

On one side of the mask, a portrait of Greenslade with Colby is painted on a backdrop of cracked ice. On the other is a silhouette of a soldier and a Canadian flag. The mask features the names of all six soldiers and 2RCR Hotel Company, poppies, a yellow ribbon, a forget-me-not and the phrases "Lest We Forget," and "Pro Patria," which means "For the Fatherland" in Latin.

The goaltenders face shield joins Saint John's inaugural game puck in the H.H.O.F. The mask will likely be placed in the mobile junior hockey exhibit which travels around to CHL events. The exhibit also features a misspelling of former London Knight Corry Perry's name.

The new mask is equally as impressive. On the back it features a poppy and red ribbon along with a picture of Sea Dogs players saluting their fans. On one side of the mask is the Sea Dogs fifth anniversary logo. On the other side is a picture of beloved Sea Dogs Alex Grant and Ryan Sparling. The top features the famous lines "once a Sea Dog, always a Sea Dog." The most unique part of the mask however is the names of former Sea Dogs around the edges of the mask.

The old mask's run comes to an end the same way it started as St. Laurent will sport the mask on "Support the Troops Day."

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