By ALAN SNEL
When you consider pain is a universal language in the sports of hockey and rodeo, it didn’t take a marketing genius to come up with the idea of taking five Canadian competitors at this week’s National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and have them skate with the Vegas Golden Knights at a VGK practice session at City National Arena today.
Layton Green, a 23-year-old saddle bronc rider from Canada, joked with his fellow cowboys in the ice rink lobby, “I better get one of those walkers for the ice.”
The five Canadian NFR contestants hit the ice without helmets. They’re cowboys. Their head protection is cowboy hats.
Green and his fellow NFR cowboys also didn’t use walkers. They laced up the skates and hit the ice with the Golden Knights players for a CBS Sports segment that is scheduled to air during NFR’s tenth and final show on Saturday night.
The cowboys — who wore cowboy hats and not helmets, duh — went one-on-one with Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. It wasn’t a bad idea considering Fleury allowed a couple of goals during Tuesday night’s shootout with the Carolina Hurricanes. So, maybe Fleury could use the extra practice.
Clay Elliott, a 23-year-old saddle bronc rider, looked pretty good on skates as he glided in on Fleury.
“I’m excited about being out there on the ice with the other guys,” Elliott said.
The CBS Sports crew figured hockey is in the blood of the Canadian NFR contestants, so a skate with Fleury would make a fun segment, the cowboys said.’
Tanner Cochrane, 34, a steer wrestler from Cochrane, Alberta noted the pain of falling on the ice could be comparable to steer wrestling.
“They’re both very competitive sports and they’re something we did as little kids,” Milan said before he hit the ice.
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