The Seattle Sailors made their SHL debut this week. The Sailors’ on-ice results were somewhat disappointing; they won only once in 5 games. Still, things could have been much worse. Seattle’s home opener nearly turned into a fiasco, as the unveiling of their mascot resulted in an accident that almost forced the Sailors to postpone the game.
“That wasn’t really the opener we were expecting,” said Sailors GM Jay McKay. “On the other hand, it was definitely memorable. No one’s going to forget that they were here.”
Seattle debuted at Century 21 Arena on Sunday, hosting the Saskatchewan Shockers. After a flurry of activity in the first period, the Sailors headed into the locker room with a 2-1 win. During the first intermission, the team introduced its new mascot: Salty Sam the Sea Dog, a brown hound in a sailor costume. Salty Sam came out riding in the back of a small boat, which was towed on a trailer.
The new mascot was a hit with fans, who cheered vigorously as Salty Sam jumped up and down and blew kisses to the audience. Sam took a couple laps around the ice, soaking in the fans’ adulation.
Unfortunately, as the mascot completed his second lap and headed off the ice, the driver of the tow vehicle lost control and went into a skid. Salty Sam’s boat smacked into the boards, dislodging a couple of Plexiglas panels behind one of the nets. The mascot himself took a tumble to the deck of his boat, frightening several fans.
The good news was that Salty Sam did not sustain any serious injuries. The bad news was that the start of the second period was delayed for 45 minutes while workers repaired the damaged boards and reapplied the fallen Plexiglas panels.
“It was an unexpected drill for our crew,” said McKay. “I’m glad to say they passed with flying colors. They were really moving lightning-quick down there. We thought for a while that we might have to suspend the game, but they got it together quick enough that we were able to continue.”
While the repair crew worked, the in-game entertainment team fired Sailors T-shirts, Salty Sam dolls, and other goodies into the crowd to keep the fans occupied.
Fortunately, play continued without incident after the repairs were completed, and Seattle notched its first (and to date only) win, beating the Shockers 3-2. As the Sailors came out on ice to celebrate their win, Salty Sam joined them with his arm in a sling and a large bandage on his right ear.
McKay reported that Salty Sam will not miss any games. “We had the trainer do a full work-up on him after the game,” the GM said. “Sam’s got some bumps and bruises, but he wouldn’t let us put him on the DL. He’s a gamer.”