"I was just kind of star struck," said Izaiah Clyke, a defenceman who plays bantam hockey with the Truro Bearcats.
The enormity of the situation meant that Izaiah didn't say much to Subban when he met him after the Canadiens shut out the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 at the Bell Centre in Montreal last weekend.
Not only did he get to meet Subban, he also had his photo taken with forward Max Pacioretty and goalie Carey Price.
Izaiah said Subban is his favourite player because of how he plays the game and how he handles comments about his background.
"Last year in the playoffs, he got called a bunch of stuff, but he just kept smiling and ignored that," said Izaiah.
It's something the teenager can relate to. After one of his games this year, while shaking hands with the other team, a player called him a racial slur.
Luck of the draw
Izaiah made it to Montreal with persistence — and a good measure of luck thrown in.
Karen Porter, Izaiah's grandmother, had long promised to take him to Habs game. Given the cost of seeing a game in Montreal, she figured that when that day finally came, they would have to hitchhike to Montreal or see the game in Florida, where ticket prices would be cheaper.
Thankfully, neither option was necessary.
While picking up some banana loaf at a convenience store last month, Porter noticed a raffle draw for two tickets to a Canadiens game, $500 of spending money and accommodations for two.
The draw date was scheduled for Feb. 16, which also happened to be the birthday of her late son, Brandon. She bought a ticket and was soon looking for more, but was paying special attention to the numbers.
In total, she purchased 18 tickets. Porter said she felt she was going to win when she laid her eyes on ticket number 369 — her lucky numbers, because she was married at 3 p.m. on the sixth month and the ninth day.
On the day of the draw, the winner was announced on the radio but Porter wasn't listening.
'One thing led to another'
"The phone started ringing off the hook," she said, as people phoned to tell her the news.
With their tickets to Montreal taken care of, all that remained was for Porter to figure out how her grandson would get to meet Subban. She did some research and contacted a journalist for the Montreal Gazette to find out where the team held its practices on game day.
"One thing led to another and it kept escalating," said Porter.
With the help of the journalist, Dave Stubbs, an arrangement was made to have Izaiah meet his idol after the game. Porter kept this detail secret from her grandson, and told him that after the game, they would be meeting one of her friends that she met during her days as an army brat.
Porter said even she was star struck meeting Subban, and she's happy it all worked out for her grandson.
"He really deserved it and I'm glad he got it," said Porter.
During their time in Montreal, Porter and Izaiah also got to go the Biodome and the Montreal Canadiens Hall of Fame.