The Vancouver Canucks road through the NHL playoffs and into the Stanley Cup final has given birth to a unique form of fan support in South Delta.
Down at the stables of Country Lane Farm in Ladner the names are familiar to hockey fans—”Bieksa,” “Bobby Lu,” and “Sami”—but the faces are all new. Try just about a month to a few weeks old.
That’s because the new arrivals—recently born foals—have been tagged with names of some Canucks players in homage to the NHL team’s outstanding performance.
The first foal born during the opening round, nail-biting seven game series against Chicago was named “Bobby-Lu” after Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo.
The second foal was born during Ryan Kesler’s heroic efforts to turn back the Blackhawks and was named “Ryan.”
And Alexander Burrows’ overtime series winner that vaulted Vancouver into the second round gave the third foal—a filly—the name “Alex-a.”
The fourth, four-legged Canuck went nameless until the two-goal performance in the third round series against San Jose by blueliner Sami Salo which happily saddled the foal with the name “Sami.”
“Then my little filly was born on the morning of May 24,” says Julie Coles, one of the resident coaches at Country Lane Farm, a breeding farm. “Her birth was as much as a miracle as the amazing goal that night in double overtime to clinch the series against the Sharks.”
“Bieksa” is a very fitting name for the fiesty little foal, Coles says.
“And since she is my third horse, it is only perfect that she wear the number 3 (Kevin Bieksa’s number) jersey.”
As the Canucks enter the Stanley Cup final series there is more in store as Country Lane is expecting one more foal.
Who will it be named after?
It all depends who stands out in the final round, Coles says.
Or maybe, if the Canucks end their 40th season by hoisting the game’s Holy Grail, the fifth foal will be known as “Stanley.”