Wacky streak

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:31 AM ET

As host to almost 1,000 NHL hockey games the last two decades, the Saddledome has seen its share of streaks.

But none more memorable than the one by 21-year-old English tourist Julian Vaudrey who peeled off his clothes in a restroom, walked through the concourse and jumped onto the ice for a full lap naked because he "thought the crowd needed a lift."

They got one all right, as did players like Jarome Iginla.

"That's one of the funniest things I've ever seen," said Iginla, giggling like a child when asked about the whistle-toting exhibitionist.

"No one knew what to do -- he circled the entire ice and then kind of stood at centre ice and didn't know what to do. He must've been out there five minutes -- his feet must've started to get cold.

"He should have just kept running back into the crowd, gone to the washroom, put on his clothes and kept going.

"It got to the point he took a towel from one of the trainers -- it wasn't exactly the kind of thing streakers do."

Eventually apprehended and charged with public indecency, his appearance in the overtime game between Calgary and Florida seven years ago will go down as the wackiest moment in the team's 25-year history.

However, four years later, a drunken Calgarian acting on a bet disrobed in the stands and scaled the rink's glass wearing nothing but two red socks -- one on his foot and the other on his, well...

"That one wasn't so funny because he got hurt," said Iginla of the fellow who plunged almost 10 feet to the ice, cracking his head in the process.

Knocked unconscious by the fall, team trainers and paramedics rushed to his side where 20 tense minutes ended with his body literally being scraped off the ice and onto a body board. He recovered fully within weeks but, as one player pointed out, "why is it always men who streak around here?"

The most famous irregularity at the 'Dome came three years ago when Harvey The Hound's antics drew the ire of Oilers coach Craig McTavish, who ripped the tongue out of the mascot's mouth.

According to a source close to Harvey, it didn't rate as one of the oddest things seen in the building.

"Minutes before a game in the days when Tim Hunter played, I saw a little old lady who knocked on the Flames' dressing room door," said former Harvey handler Grant Kelba.

"A security guard opens the door and she reaches into a Safeway bag and pulls out a pair of old hockey skates and asks 'could you give these to Tim Hunter?'

"Tim forgot his skates at home and got his mom to bring them to the rink."

Harvey and his handlers will never forget the night they walked into the hound's dressing room to find a curious Doug Gilmour and Joe Nieuwendyk trying on Harvey's costume.

Kelba alleges that Mike Vernon was a major contributor to Harvey's act in the '80s, as the goaltender kept himself amused watching the mascot's antics between whistles.

"That's not true -- I was always focused on the game," chuckled Vernon, a Flame for more than half the club's 25-year stay in Calgary.

"But over the years in that building I've seen a lot of funny things."

Nothing that sticks out more than the streaker, though.


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