From Classroom to Commentary: The Rise of Virden’s Own Doug Roach in the Hockey World

Doug Roach, a local of Virden, Manitoba, and a teacher at Virden Collegiate Institute High School, has made a name for himself beyond the classroom as the play-by-play announcer for the Virden Oil Capitals. His recent rise to internet fame is a testament to his passion and enthusiasm for hockey, which was vividly displayed during a Manitoba Junior Hockey League game. Roach’s dynamic commentary, particularly his repeated exclamation, “Look at that! Look at this! Look at that!”, captured the excitement of a game-changing top-shelf goal by Oil Capitals forward Roux Bazin, leading the team to a 2-1 overtime win against the Steinbach Pistons.

The spotlight on Roach intensified after his son notified him that his electrifying call was featured on Spittin’ Chiclets’ Instagram page, catapulting him to viral status. Despite this newfound fame, Roach remains grounded and amused, with his daughter noting that his expressive broadcast style is simply an extension of his everyday demeanor.

Roach’s path to becoming a play-by-play announcer is unique. Initially a goalie, he honed his commentating skills in his head during games to maintain focus. This practice eventually led him to pursue announcing professionally for the Oil Capitals, a role he secured last year after expressing his interest to the team’s coach.

In addition to his teaching duties, Roach is a dedicated volunteer for the Virden Oil Capitals and the community of Virden by refereeing minor hockey and coaching high school sports, exemplifying his commitment to both his community and the sport of hockey. The team has fully embraced his viral fame, even exploring the idea of creating T-shirts to commemorate his memorable call. Roach’s story is not just about a local teacher’s leap to viral fame; it’s about a community member’s deep involvement and passion for hockey, enriching the local sports culture in Virden.


How did you feel when you first learned your game call had gone viral? What initially sparked your interest in hockey, and how has it evolved into a passion for play-by-play announcing?

“When the game call had gone viral I thought it was very funny. My kids were sending me social media clips of it and I just had to laugh. The past few days have been crazy with how far it has gone. Funny indeed.
Watching Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights got me interested. My Dad building a rink against the barn on the farm fuelled it and its been part of who I am since. As a goalie in my Junior days, I did play-by-play to keep my focus on the game. My experiences with playing, coaching and reffing hockey I feel help in calling the game as I have seen it from all angles. I just try to improve every game and have some fun with it.” – Doug Roach