FULTON, NY – Noah Delaney still plays youth hockey. But, the Fulton youngster has a good shot of making it all the way to this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
Noah, son of Fulton resident Heather Doran, is one of three finalists in Discover’s second annual Day With the Cup contest.
The winner will be granted an entire day with the Stanley Cup along with a community event and tickets to a Stanley Cup Finals game.
By voting on the finalists between April 17 and 21, hockey fans everywhere will choose the grand prize winner by casting their ballots at www.Discover.com/StanleyCup
To build local support for Noah’s entry and bring the Stanley Cup and special community event to the Fulton area, people are encouraged to visit the site “once a day, every day and vote!” Heather said.
Discover will announce the grand prize winner on May 6 via a special community event featuring the Stanley Cup.
A while ago, News Channel 9 anchor and author Christie Casciano had a contest on her Puck Hog site, Heather said. She entered Noah’s essay about what hockey means to him.
“Not only did it win, but she said he should enter it in the Discover contest,” Heather told Oswego County Today.com “And, lo and behold – I get a call last week and they say, ‘Your son has won…’ And I’m like, excuse me? What!”
When Noah received the good news he said his face went white, his ears went red and his stomach dropped to his knees.
“You know when you’re riding along and all of a sudden you go up and over a little hill and then down again real fast? Well, that’s how it felt,” he explained.
The contest entry Noah submitted depicts a photo of him on the ice alongside his father, a sergeant with Oswego’s 444th Engineer Company of the U.S. Army Reserves.
On Jan. 31, he and his unit received an emotional sendoff as they left for a year’s deployment in Afghanistan. Several hundred family members, friends and supporters packed the bleachers in Max Ziel Gym at Laker Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus that day.
Noah’s essay explains that hockey helped him get through the tough time when his dad left.
He also said that hockey is a bonding activity that he and his father did together every weekend.
“Winning a day with the Stanley Cup would mean a lot to me,” Noah said, quickly adding, “and all of the soldiers!”
Just before the deployment, Noah’s youth hockey team had a game against Midstate. It turned into a special sendoff for the troops with Sgt. Doran taking part in the ceremonial puck drop. And Midstate presented each of the local players with a gift bag, Heather added.
Sgt. Doran called the other night, Heather said.
“He was ecstatic,” she said. “He said everyone in the unit is rooting for Noah.”
“More than winning, I want to let kids know that no matter how hard life gets, you can still do anything,” Noah said. “You can do it if you just ask for help.”
From March 22 through April 12, Discover encouraged hockey fans to submit an original photo that best demonstrates their passion for hockey, along with a 1,000 character or less description that answers the question, “I deserve a day with the Stanley Cup because…”
Three final entries have been chosen and posted to Facebook where the public has until 11:59 p.m. ET on April 21 to vote for their favorite entry.
The contestant with the most votes will be deemed the official Day With the Cup winner and will be awarded the ultimate hockey package, which includes spending a day with the Stanley Cup, celebrating with family and friends, having the experience documented and featured during game one of the Stanley Cup Finals, as well as round trip airline fare, hotel and tickets to one of the games of the Stanley Cup Finals.
The New Jersey Devils is Noah and his dad’s favorite team, Heather said.
“So even when youth hockey is over, hockey really isn’t over in our house,” she laughed. “I think I am more nervous than he is. Noah’s excited, really excited. I’m really nervous.”
If Noah does win the grand prize, he said he’d like to bring the cup up to Oswego – to the Army Reserve Center at Fort Ontario – and share the day with the troops.
“I’m proud of him. No matter how this all turns out, I am very proud of him,” Heather said.
What would make winning a day with the Stanley Cup even better?
“I just wish my dad could fly home and be with us that day,” Noah said.
To learn more about the contest, visit www.discover.com/StanleyCup