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HomeNewsPeterborough Goes Bonkers For Petes In Playoff Run

Peterborough Goes Bonkers For Petes In Playoff Run

Hundreds watch on jumbo screen downtown as team loses Game 5 in London, Game 6 in Peterborough Sunday

PETERBOROUGH-The Peterborough Petes may have lost Game 5 of the Ontario Hockey League Championship series 4-1 in London Friday night, but those who attended the maroon and white’s first-ever watch party say it was a winner.

An estimated 500 fans turned out at Quaker Foods City Square downtown to watch the Petes at London game on a jumbo TV.  As far as anyone can remember it was the first time in the city for such a sporting event.  The closest thing to it was perhaps when the city aired the last Tragically Hip show back in 2016 at the Memorial Centre.

Peterborough still leads the best of seven series three games to two and have two more chances to win the series starting in Sunday night’s Game 6 at The Memorial Centre.

Amanda McBain, right, and her Peterborough Petes watch party co-organizer Hillary Flood are all smiles midway through Friday night’s game in London. They estimated about 500 fans turned out to watch the Petes game on the huge screen at Quaker Foods City Square. They hope the first event of its kind in the city becomes a tradition although the Petes lost. Photo by John McFadden.–
For Amanda McBain, a key organizer of the watch party, Friday night’s loss to the Knights was just a blip on the screen. She said she has every confidence the Petes will win the series. McBain, who is with the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area, said the watch party came together in a heck of a hurry.
“This fell into our laps about three days ago. We had this incredible opportunity to utilize the Quaker Foods City Square space to cheer on the Petes. It’s been a really great opportunity to get the community together,” McBain said. “There was a lot of coordinating that had to be done including getting some of the downtown businesses to come and be vendors. We have a variety of snacks as well as Petes swag.”
Obviously the Petes deep playoff run has been good for all kinds of local businesses from sporting goods stores to the hospitality industry. For Peterborough sports bar owner Ron Baldwin, its the second boost for his Sticks Sports Pub in the past six months. Baldwin may have the best location in the hockey and lacrosse mad city for a sports bar – just a long stetch pass away from the front doors of the Memorial Centre.
”It’s meant sold-out dinner crowds for every Petes home game. Just like the Memorial Centre has been selling out, we are selling out the pre-game dinner crowd,” Baldwin said. It’s been nice. It’s much like the Mann Cup lacrosse last fall where the hometown Lakers sold out seven games. These sports team windfalls in Peterboroughof late have really helped out businesses that took such a tremendous hit from Covid. That includes Sticks Sports Pub.”
Baldwin said he hadn’t added staff during the playoffs – but his bar and wait staff have been working longer shifts meaning larger paychecks, something Baldwin said his employees are all for. Baldwin added that the brisk business is something he and his staff hoped for.
“And we really do appreciate it – and we appreciate our customers,” Baldwin said.
Amanda McBain, right, and her Peterborough Petes watch party co-organizer Hillary Flood are all smiles midway through Friday night’s game in London. They estimated about 500 fans turned out to watch the Petes game on the huge screen at Quaker Foods City Square. They hope the first event of its kind in the city becomes a tradition although the Petes lost. Photo by John McFadden.–
Pete Dalliday, left, the TV play-by-play voice for the Peterborough Petes joins his colour commentator Scott Arnold in the broadcast booth high above the Memorial Centre ice. Having watched the team all season Dalliday said he is not at all surprised that the Petes are just a win away from capturing the OH championship and earning a berth in the Memorial Cup. Photo courtesy of Pete Dalliday. —
If Ron Baldwin doesn’t have the best job in Peterborough then Pete Dalliday might.   The Petes TV play-by-play announcer enjoyed the team’s somewhat surprising playoff performance.
“Am I shocked at the Peterborough Petes in the OHL  final – not really shocked just a little surprised. They made some big moves at the trade deadline. On paper, I thought all year they have been a great team and got even better at the deadline. It just took a very very long time for that to all come together but you could tell early in the Sudbury series and definitely in the Ottawa series. The lines they put together have some chemistry and things that they’ve been working on really started to take full effect,” Dalliday said. “They are a fun team to watch, an exciting team. I think some Petes fans maybe doubted some moves but local wise to have guys like J.R Avon and Chase Stillman producing in the playoffs and playing good minutes has been huge. I think anytime you can get local players into your lineup that helps with the buzz.”
Dalliday points out that it’s been a long time between OHL championships for the Petes.
“We used to get spoiled back in the days including three in a row in the late ’70s, early ’80s, another one in the ’80s a couple in the ’90s – so the fact that this has been so long in between I think people are enjoying it that much more.”
Adam King is a keen spectator at a Petes game earlier this season. The team’s director of marketing was also working at the time, always thinking about innovative ways to promote one of Canada’s most storied junior teams. Their playoff performance, a win away from the Memorial Cup is simply a marketing director’s dream. Photo courtesy of Adam King
One Petes employee who is ecstatic to ride the wave of success is director of marketing Adam King.
“From a marketing perspective, this playoff run has allowed us to take everything to the next level. That includes new and unique marketing campaigns, engaging game presentations, fan engagement opportunities, road game content and many other exciting marketing initiatives, ” King said. He added the lengthy playoff run has allowed the team to connect with its fans on an even deeper level.
Should the Petes fail to win Game 6 in Peterborough Sunday night, they’ll have to do it in London in Game 7 Monday night.

 

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John McFadden
John McFadden
After graduating from Fanshawe College in London, Ont. with a diploma in broadcast journalism John began his career right here in the Kawarthas at what was then called CKLY in Lindsay. From there John went to CHEX-TV and Wolf Radio in Peterborough as a TV and radio news and sportscaster and morning radio show co-host. John moved on to City-TV and CP24 in Toronto. He covered and reported on many important stories including the SARS outbreak. John then moved to the CBC in Toronto as a senior news writer and sports producer. Wanting a change of scenery John went to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories in 2012 where he earned seven National Community Newspaper Awards covering stories in Canada's Arctic while working for Northern News Services. He returned to Ontario in 2021 and has been writing news stories for Kawartha 411 since late 2021.

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