For two seasons Rob Mahon served as the play-by-play voice of the Prince Albert Raiders on 900 CKBI, but this past Sunday night marked the first time he called a game at the Art Hauser Centre as the visiting broadcaster.
In the offseason, Mahon accepted a position to become the director of broadcasting and media relations with the Brandon Wheat Kings. His broadcasts air on Q Country 91.5 in Brandon.
Mahon says it was extremely special to return to Prince Albert and call a game from the Morley Jaeger broadcast booth once again.
“It was incredible. It was great to be back. I made two years of unbelievable memories in this building that have shaped me as a broadcaster and a person. To be able to come back here, see some familiar faces, meet some people that I built really good relationships with, and sit at the wrong end of the booth for once, it was pretty special.”
In his new role with the Wheat Kings, Mahon says he has gotten to see a lot more behind the curtain of what goes into the day-to-day operations of a WHL team.
“I’ve been used to going through it as a news reporter/broadcaster my first six years in the business and now being only on the hockey side, you get to really see behind the curtain in ways that you never would otherwise. You get a whole different appreciation for what goes into the production of a game day, what goes into it, for example, a player is traded. There’s an awful lot behind the scenes that even as someone who’s very close to the game, you might not necessarily see.”
At the time of publishing, the standings in the Eastern Conference are very tight. Only six points separate the Moose Jaw Warriors, who sit third in the conference with 29 points and the Red Deer Rebels who hold the final playoff spot with 23 points.
Mahon says he has enjoyed seeing the parity in the league after the conference had one dominant team for his first two seasons broadcasting the WHL.
“Every game feels like it’s going to come right down to the wire because every point matters so much in the standings, every game has this extra intensity to it. My first two years in the league, it was pretty clear right from the word ‘go’ that Winnipeg was going to be top dog and everybody else was just in the race as far as the Eastern Conference was concerned. Edmonton obviously turned out amazing in my first year, but this is the first year that I’m genuinely hard pressed to think of who the best team in the Eastern Conference is.”
Although the Raiders fell in Sunday’s game to the Wheat Kings by a final score of 3-1, Mahon says he thinks the future in Prince Albert looks to be very bright.
“There’s a rising bit of skill with the Raiders that wasn’t there quite as much my first year. My first year, if that Raiders team was going to score goals, it was going to be hard work. You were going to have to go to the paint and bang away and offense was a little tricky to come by. This year, you’ve got guys who can pick corners. You’ve got guys who can snipe off the rush, run a cycle, make those fancy moves, get fans out of their seats, and show up on the highlight reel. A lot of that skill is young, which bodes really well for the future.”
Prior to his time in Prince Albert, Mahon had served as the play-by-play voice of the Estevan Bears in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL).