At the center of the photo, Frenchie's Ford General Manager Scott Coupal hands the keys to the new truck to winner Brenda Hewlett. To the left of Coupal are Warriors owner Darby Oakes, left wing Paul Shantz and another Warriors player, team GM Steve Thomas Sr., and coach Steve Thomas Jr. To the right of Hewlett are Warriors President Patricia Francis, Frenchie's VP Thelma Coupal, Frenchie's President Real "Frenchie" Coupal, and behind them Warriors center Sylvain Deschatelets and right wing Pierre Dagenais.
MASSENA – The woman who won a new Ford truck during a hockey shoot contest last weekend performed the feat without wearing her glasses.
In a press conference today, Brenda Hewlett said the helmet she was asked to wear interfered with her glasses, but she wanted the helmet since she didn’t think she would be too steady on the ice. So she elected to take off her glasses.
Media swarmed today to Frenchie’s Ford to see the woman whose beginner’s luck won her a 2011 Ford F150 4x4 pickup truck between periods at an Akwesasne Warriors game in Massena last Friday night.
Hewlett won the contest with a long shot on goal. She told reporters she was thinking “Just don’t hesitate, follow through and let it go,” when, the very first time she ever held a hockey stick, she sent a puck most of the way down the Massena Arena ice into a puck-sized slot in a screen covering the net.
The contest was sponsored by the Federal Hockey League Akwesasne Warriors and Frenchie’s Ford.
Hewlett, who works at Wendy’s Diner on North Main in Massena, signed up to be one of the five randomly selected contestants when she went to Frenchie’s Ford to pay for some truck repairs. She commented while there that she really could use a new truck but couldn’t afford one. But staff at the dealership persuaded her to enter the contest.
She was one of five finalists selected to try their luck during second intermission at the game between the Warriors and the 1000 Islands Privateers.
When the time came, Frenchie’s Ford manager Scott Coupal said “Ladies first!, and the four men contestants had to wait. They wouldn’t get their chance after all.
In a video on YouTube, Hewlett is seen shuffling onto the ice with a helmet to take her shot from the far blue line as the four other contestants, all men, practice their shots behind her.
She said she thought the net was empty and open, until she was told there was a screen in front of the net with a little slot at the bottom. “You gotta be kidding,” she said.
She stayed well back from the blue line and the cone marking it. She took a long look at the net, took two practice swings, waited to be announced, took one more practice “putt” swing, and made the shot – not a slap shot, but an easy left-handed wrist shot that sent the puck over the dirty ice, across the center line, the puck coasting over the blue line. The announcer whooped as the puck approached the net...and went in the little slot in the screen.
You can hear the crowd yelling, but you can’t hear the fans and players that thumped the glass and boards in celebration.
More than 100 feet back on the ice, Hewlett accepted hugs from sponsors and fans.
By Wednesday afternoon, when she and the sponsors held a news conference, the video had been seen nearly 100,000 times in places all over the world.
In the excitement, Hewlett and her husband missed the third period of the game, when the Warriors pulled up to tie at 6-6, then won the game. The Warriors gave her and her husband passes for the rest their season’s home games, mainly played in Cornwall.
There is a rumour that the video will be played during a CBC “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast, and another rumor that people will see it on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”