Nuts over pucks
By Jamie McKeller
What is a puck-nut?
For some, the name may conjure up images of a painful hockey injury or a bizarre genetic defect found in pre-pubescent males, but these assumptions would be way off base. A puck-nut is a member of one of the newest USC-ratified clubs at Western.
"A puck-nut is a person who will come out with us and support the Mustang hockey team," club president Greg Kemp said.
Newly ratified, the club already boasts 20 members and even though it has yet to receive a mandate, Kemp says the puck-nuts will attempt to be the top fan club of Western sports.
"We will definitely try to be a primary fan base for Western Hockey," Kemp said. "Hopefully we can move our fan club into the other Mustang sports as well."
When asked about competition from clubs like the Purple Spur Society, Kemp says the other clubs focus is primarily on football and basketball.
"We're just here to fill the void because hockey is an important part of this country," he said. "Hopefully [the clubs] will be able to run in harmony. Maybe some of their members could be some of our members and vice versa."
Starting out by simply attending games, Kemp said the members noticed "there weren't too many students there."
By putting up posters and handing out flyers the club started to generate interest. With a relatively small turn-out so far, the club hopes more people will join as the season progresses.
Puck-nuts has the full support of the hockey team and head coach Barry Martinelli.
"I think it's great, it's the first time something like this has been done in my years here," he said. "Southern Ontario hockey fans are very fickle in that they have a lot of choices like the OHL and Junior A. It's not like in northern Ontario or eastern Canada where there's nothing else to support."
As for whether Martinelli thinks the club can survive in the long run, he said it will depend on how successful its leaders are at promoting membership.
"They have to think about what they can, besides coming to the game," he said. "Intercollegiate athletics on campus doesn't seem to get a whole lot of support. Why that is, I don't know.
"In the worst-case scenario, they'll raise more awareness as to where and when we play."