Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, attended Wednesday night’s PWHL matchup between Ottawa and Boston. He arrived well before puck drop and was escorted from the arena's concourse by Ottawa general manager Mike Hirshfeld.
Trudeau met with the Ottawa team ahead of the game. In a video posted to the team's social media accounts, Trudeau addressed the Ottawa players in the locker room and expressed his excitement for the success of the PWHL. “The numbers coming out, the people you’re inspiring… is super exciting,” he said, speaking in the dressing room.
He also wished the team luck. “As a Montréaler, I was very pleased to see you beat Toronto last night,” Trudeau said. “But I will be even happier when you kick Boston’s ass tonight.”
Ottawa captain Brianne Jenner then presented Trudeau with a jersey, which he put on to a loud chorus of player cheers.
Trudeau was at the game with his two teenagers, Xavier and Ella Grace. The three stood by the entrance to the ice and high-fived the players as they skated out ahead of the game. He and his family took their seats and enjoyed the entire game amongst the Ottawa crowd. Even though there was an increased police and security presence throughout the arena, he and his kids were just like any other fans.
Speaking to reporters after the game, the Ottawa defender Savannah Harmon called meeting the Prime Minister a special experience. “It was awesome,” she said.
“That was neat,” said coach Carla MacLeod in her post-game press conference, talking about the Prime Minister’s speech. “It's not lost on us that that’s a special moment,” she said. “He seemed to be a genuine fan.”
And even though Trudeau has historically been a Montréal sports fan, MacLeod confirmed that: “We got him. He’s Ottawa.”