(CNN)“They said, ‘I bet they’ll never make it,’ but just look at us holding on.
“We’re still together, still going strong.”
Sappy words from a country love song never sounded so inspirational to a bunch of tough guys on skates.
Yet the Dallas Stars have adopted country music singer Shania Twain as an unlikely source of strength during their NHL playoffs push.
In the morning skate before Monday’s pivotal game 6 face-off with the St. Louis Blues, the PA system belted out the 50-year-old Canadian’s “From This Moment On.”
And scripted just like a classic country ballad, the Stars came through with their backs against the wall. Facing elimination, Jason Spezza knocked in the power-play winner in the first period while goalie Kari Lehtonen made some key saves to preserve the lead.
It’s a trend that’s gained momentum all series, and, as any athlete knows, it’s best not to mess with tradition.
In the visitors’ locker room before the Stars’ overtime game 4 win last week, Spezza, the team’s 6-foot 3-inch, 220-pound center, treated the assembled media to a karaoke-like singalong of Twain’s “You’re Still The One” before fielding questions, according to NHL.com.
Though “the Queen of Country Pop” has yet to appear at a Stars game, she’s clearly thrilled with her role in their success, tweeting: “Heard @dallasstars have amazing taste in pregame music. Must have helped them to the win?! Incredible game guys!”
“We only listen to the best!” Stars captain Jamie Benn replied, with teammate Jason Demers adding “OMG shania knows who we are!!! thanks for the love.”
Not to be outdone, the Blues have also claimed the singer as their own, tweeting “It’s not too late @ShaniaTwain — come on over!” after Saturday’s game 5 win.
Twain, it appears, is in hot demand, and the Stars would be wise to fly her over to Dallas for Wednesday’s series-deciding game 7.
With team bruisers happily singing along to “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” before game 6, there is apparently no song on her repertoire that’s off-limits.
But if Dallas pulls off a win in game 7 to skate into the conference finals, Twain may just have to reconsider her most famous lyric: “That don’t impress me much.”
The victor will next take on either Nashville Predators or San Jose Sharks, who are also tied 3-3 ahead of Thursday’s decider.
Last year’s Stanley Cup losing finalist Tampa Bay Lightning beat New York Islanders 4-1 to set up a clash with Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals, who need to win Tuesday’s home game 6 at Consol Energy Center to take the series to a decider.