History made twice in a night

JODY VANCE -- 24 Hours Toronto

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Picture this. I'm sitting at our Gate 1 Studio, known as Leafs Nation HQ, between the second and third period of Saturday night's tilt between the Calgary Flames and the Maple Leafs when my colleague, Rick Vaive says, "can you believe Sundin in this game? He's one away from 500 -- with two already in the game -- can you imagine if he got 500 with a hat trick? Or, even better, in overtime?"

We laughed and thought "what if."

Meanwhile, in my ear, it hit me how the tones of Cassie Campbell doing colour commentary on "Hockey Night in Canada" was history already being made. The first woman to ever be in the booth.

Stepping into that game on such short notice is, in my opinion, akin to a "500th goal by way of a hat-trick overtime winner."

Rewind to earlier that evening. Around 4:30 p.m., while my colleague Andi Petrillo and I were having our nightly pre-game meal in the media room, Ms. Campbell joined us.

We had the hockey equivalent of what might be considered "girl talk" (read: what a pain in the butt it was to need to do all of that makeup and worry about wardrobe while the boys powder up and put on ties).

Little did Andi and I know that Cassie was battling big-time nerves as she was already aware that Harry Neale was snowed in and she would be taking his seat in the broadcast booth.

The sound of a woman doing colour on a Leafs game took a moment to compute -- but once that initial shock wore off it was obvious that this woman, one who captained our national women's squad to Olympic gold, was in her element.

Yes, when captain Mats Sundin scored that 500th career goal in overtime on the No.1 goalie in the NHL right now, Miikka Kiprusoff, history was made ... but it was history made for the second time that fateful Saturday night.

If that isn't the epitome of a Kodak moment, I don't know what is.

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Jody Vance is a sportscaster with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesadays and Thursdays in 24 hours. jody.vance@tor.sunpub.com


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