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'I t seems that everything's gone wrong since Canada came along. Blame Canada! Blame Canada! With all their hockey hullabaloo, and that b***h Anne Murray too! Blame Canada! Shame on Canada!"

On Saturday, February 12, as part of Canadian Night with the San Diego Gulls taking on the Falcons from Springfield, Massachusetts, a video of Robin Williams performing the Academy Award--nominated song "Blame Canada" from the movie South Park will be displayed on the Jumbotron in the San Diego Sports Arena.

Canadian Night is one of a series of Saturday-night themes. This Saturday is the first time the team will be paying tribute to the "Great White North." Of the 24 players currently on the San Diego Gulls hockey team, 14 are Canadian.

In addition to Saturday's theme nights, Wednesday nights have been declared "Wacky Wednesdays." One recent Wednesday event was "Pooch Party" -- fans were encouraged to bring pet dogs to the game. That event was so successful (with 115 dogs in attendance) that the Gulls want to bring the pups back: Over 200 dogs are expected for Pooch Party II on February 16. According to ESPN, the Gulls are the first hockey team to invite dogs to attend their games.

"This is the first season where we've been really creative with these theme nights," says director of public relations Jeremy Zager. "Theme nights bring more energy and definitely more fans for the Saturday nights. Energy in the arena on Mullet Night compared to a regular night is so much better, it's really electric."

Mullet Night, the catalyst for this multitude of theme nights, was the only event of its kind last season. Hockey has been one of the last bastions of the "mullet" hairdo (short on top, long in back), and those players no longer sporting the '80s style wore wigs during warm-ups. Fans were encouraged to "rock their mullets," real or fake, and commemorative Mullet Night T-shirts were given to the crowd.

Upcoming theme nights and giveaways include Disco Night, with 8000 giveaway "Afro wigs"; Trucker Night, with free trucker hats; and '80s Night, with tank tops. The first 7000 fans to show up at Canadian Night will receive a Gulls long-sleeved T-shirt.

Themed events will run throughout the evening of Canadian Night. With help from the Canadian consulate of San Diego, director of marketing and game operations Greg Olmen has put together a series of questions he calls the "You know you're a Canadian" game. Trivia questions such as, "What ingredients are found in poutine?" will appear on the Jumbotron, and fans will be encouraged to scream out their answers. After the crowd has had a chance to guess, the answer will appear (the parts that combine to create this French-Canadian concoction are french fries, gravy, and cheese curds).

"You know you're a Canadian" will appear intermittently throughout the hockey game. At one point in the evening a contestant will be chosen from the stands and given the opportunity to win a prize. "During each night, we pick one person for the 'Verizon Inside the Helmet' game [where a fan is asked to answer a question about the players]," says Olmen. "We'll do the same kind of thing, only this time we'll make sure the question is Canadian related."

The most interesting segment of Canadian Night (Robin Williams's crooning is a close second) will be the Beaver Race. Organizers of this race will soak three stuffed-animal beavers in water and freeze them in time for their debut on the ice. Twelve contestants will be chosen from the crowd and placed into three teams, four people per team. Teams will be separated and given T-shirts to make them identifiable. Each group of four will be lined up, beaver in the front, a bucket in the back.

The beavers, twine tied around their tails, will be handed to the first person in each line, who then must feed it underneath the shirt she is wearing and out through the neck area. The next in line must do this alternately -- in through the neck, out the bottom of the shirt. The prize goes to the first team to weave the beaver through their clothing and drop the frozen beast into the bucket. -- Barbarella

Canadian Night with the San Diego Gulls Saturday, February 12 7:05 p.m. San Diego Sports Arena 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard Cost: $12 to $25 Info: 619-224-4625 or www.sandiegogulls.com

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