"Abby Horn" Set to Make Its Return on October 2
On Saturday, October 2nd, a familiar friend returns to the Eastlink Centre to lift the spirits of Charlottetown Islanders fans and players alike.
After years of inactivity, the famous Abby Horn returns to Islanders goal celebrations, sure to bring Islanders fans to their feet.
The history of the Abby Horn dates back to the early years of the PEI Senators. The horn was previously a fixture on the MV Abegweit, the ferry tasked with transporting people back and forth safely across the Northumberland Strait between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The original MV Abegweit was decommissioned in 1983 and purchased by the Columbia Yacht Club in Chicago, Illinois, where it remains to this day. It was at that point the horn was recovered from the Abby. Its whereabouts prior to its installation at the Eastlink Centre are unknown.
The foghorn was a staple of the previously-named Charlottetown Civic Centre until the implementation of overhead replay cameras. At the time, the vibration caused by the Abby Horn would knock the replay cameras out of focus. It was determined at that time that the foghorn would be taken offline, replaced instead by a digital sound when the PEI Rocket would score.
It wasn't until this summer that Islanders staff explored bringing the horn back.
"The Abby Horn was a staple of the Charlottetown hockey scene, and a personal distinct memory from my time growing up in the Civic Centre," said Islanders vice president of sales and marketing Jason Maclean. "After the tumultuous year that we all experienced thanks to COVID-19, it felt important to remind fans of the great memories that have been made at the Civic Centre, and now Eastlink Centre, over the years."
"We initially had the discussion with our production team at Universum Media to see if the camera technology had advanced far enough to overcome the vibration issue. After some testing over the offseason, there was no effect on the overhead cameras. At that point, the Horn's return became a no-brainer."
While many fans who have been here since the Senators will remember the Abby Horn fondly, a new generation of fans has not witnessed the boost in fan experience that it brings. One member of the Islanders organization, the only one who also worked for the Senators, is looking forward to bringing that experience back.
"In-arena entertainment has become a two-and-a-half-hour package of entertainment. That's done at the NHL level, and major junior hockey mimics that, both on the ice and with the environment in the arena," said long-time play-by-play commentator George Matthews. "Adding bells and whistles, including a distinct home team goal horn, is major. You will have local fans loving it, the local players loving it, and 17 teams across the QMJHL hating it."
Following his time calling the action for the PEI Senators, Matthews received the call to do play-by-play for the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets. The veteran of over 1000 NHL games has seen his fair share of in-game experiences at the pro level, including the notorious cannon that is set off to the tune of AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock" in Columbus. Matthews had one direct comparison to the majors.
"In San Jose, because of its location right next to San Francisco Bay, has a gigantic foghorn that goes off just like the old Abby every time the Sharks score. It's loud, and the fans are proud of it when it goes off. They jump to their feet whenever it goes off. It energized the building every time, and every one of the NHL teams hates it, except for San Jose."
"That's what you're trying to do, create a distinct environment that every team around the QMJHL knows means that you've been scored on by the Islanders
Your first opportunity to hear the Abby Horn in action will be on Saturday, October 2nd when the Charlottetown Islanders play their home opener against the Saint John Sea Dogs. You can still grab your tickets at the Eastlink Centre box office, by calling 902-629-6625, or by purchasing online at https://boxoffice.eastlinkcentrepei.com.
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Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Stories from September 30, 2021
- Eagles Name Captains for 2021-22 Season - Cape Breton Eagles
- 53rd Season Gets Underway Tonight - QMJHL
- "Abby Horn" Set to Make Its Return on October 2 - Charlottetown Islanders
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