Normand Perreault and Shirley McMullin had been talking about getting married.
She suspected he might propose during a trip to Vegas in September, or on her 50th birthday vacation to Mexico in November.
"Shirley is a very, very tough person to surprise," Perreault said. "I wanted to sweep her off her feet and completely, completely surprise the woman."
So he came up with something decidedly … cooler.
A goalie for the Dallas Green in the Royal Glenora Club's house league, Perreault contacted the club's recreation manager.
"I said, 'This is kind of a weird, strange request," he said. "But I want to propose to my girlfriend."
A beer-league ruse
There were hitches.
Games had to be rescheduled, including referees and timekeepers. Finally, the timing worked out for Friday, Sept. 21.
But Perreault still needed a reason to get McMullin onto the ice.
So, they told her it was the beer league's fifth year in existence, and they planned to mark the anniversary with a pre-game ceremony at centre ice.
Meantime, Perreault had invited friends and family to come.
McMullin's daughter was in the stands. Perreault's son took video.
Both teams lined up at centre ice for a ceremonial puck drop. McMullin was asked to do the honours.
One side of the puck read, "Will You Marry Me?"
By the time she noticed, Perreault was behind her, down on one knee, with a ring.
"I turned around," McMullin said. "My daughter's there, his son is there, my girlfriends are there. I was completely stunned. I usually figure out everything he plans. He worked hard on this."
Perreault managed to keep it a secret from his own team.
Players on both teams applauded the couple by banging their sticks on the ice.
"I actually thought, at first, my hockey buddies might think it's a little cheesy," Perreault said. "But you know what? That's who I am. If I'm going to go out and do something, that's the way it's going to go down. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I would pull something like that off."
Teammate Justin Archer was impressed.
"Not everybody would do that," he said. "He is just the most genuine guy."
By the way, she said yes.