Shayne Toporowski has donned a National Hockey League uniform during his 18-year pro career.
Yet, the Quad City Mallards forward said pulling on the Double-A club's sweater tonight will offer a special thrill.
That's because the Flock is wearing "Turn 'Back-to-Back' the Clock" togs for the annual Genesis Jersey Auction night.
The throwback jerseys mark the 15th anniversary of the second of two straight league championships won by the Mallards in 1997 and '98.
Toporowski's older brother Kerry, one of four Mallards to have their numbers retired by the team, played on that second title winner.
"I remember coming to those games and seeing those jerseys," said Shayne Toporowski, who was then a third-year pro with Triple-A AHL Worcester. "It was a great barn to come into and watch my brother and that team win their championship. Winning back-to-back titles at any level is special. So I'm honored to get a chance to wear that jersey."
Toporowski promised he'll hardly be alone, either, with the jerseys a ready reminder to his younger teammates of their 16-year-old team's successful history.
"Any time you get a chance to pull on any jersey in pro hockey it's a special day," Toporowski said. "But when you have a franchise that had success like that, you want to represent them well.
"It'll be a good night for the fans, too, and bring back some good memories. Hopefully we put a good product on the ice so we can bring some fans back our way."
The post-game auction of the game-worn gear benefits the Genesis Flu Free QC program.
Also available during the game are Genesis "Stand Up To Breast Cancer" posters featuring the Mallards. The posters cost $10 each, or two for $17, with proceeds benefiting the Genesis Centers for Breast Health.
"It's a neat thing," Toporowski said about the Mallards' annual fundraiser. "It's great to give the sweater off your back to the fans that support you, and you know you're raising money for a good cause, too."
To top it off, this two-game weekend is shaping up to be a recordbreaker attendance-wise for the Mallards.
More than 3,000 fans are expected tonight, and John Deere Employees Night boasts ticket pre-sales of about 7,000 for Saturday night.
The Mallards' three largest crowds since returning to action in 2009 are 7,766 (Oct. 24, 2009), 6,737 (March 20, 2010) and 5,989 (March 24, 2012).
The Flock's biggest back-to-back games since the demise of the Triple-A QC Flames was a combined 10,395 last Jan. 13-14.
QC's average attendance so far this season is 2,410.
"It's an exciting weekend for us," said Bob McNamara, the Mallards new president. "The jersey auction night is a long-time staple of this franchise. And, people better get here early Saturday to beat the traffic."
In honor of the QC Convention & Visitors Bureau's annual "Be a tourist in your own backyard" promotion, the Mallards are offering free kids' tickets with the purchase of an adult ticket to either game.
The concession stand also offers specials tonight ($1 hot dogs and $1 beers) and Saturday (a free bag of popcorn to each fan).
Today is Tuesday, May 21, the 141st day of 2013. There are 224 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: On Monday the 11th inst. on Center Ridge in Mercer County,some citizens got out their cannon to celebrate the taking of Richmond. The gun wasoverloaded and burst. No one was injured, but one 30-pound piece went though thesecond story of a house. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The old folks concert at the Harper Theater last night to benefit St.Luke's Cottage Hospital, attracted a large audience. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Unless depredation by vandals in Rock Island parks is halted,special policemen will be assigned to night duty to protect the flowers and other property. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Station WHBF has received a special citation from Washington forits participation in Air Mail Week, which was observed this week throughout the nation. 1963 -- 50 years ago: A 10-year high in employment in the Quad-City area was reachedat the end of the last quarter, according to an industrial employment barometer releasedtoday. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Pee Wee teams will be able to play baseball and softball as usualon Diamond Three at Dorrance Park this summer, but after that, the ball field is doomed.County crews have put the diamond back in shape after heavy trucks marred the playingfield earlier this spring. Illinois Department of Transportation crews drove onto it to makeborings for the relocation of the junction of Illinois 84 and the Port Byron-Hillsdale road.