Hockey fans at the Scotiabank Saddledome or who watched the broadcast of Friday night’s game between the Flames and Panthers likely noticed a show of support for the oil and gas sector painted on the ice.

Officials with Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, the organization that operates the Saddledome, say the ‘I (Heart) (a red Maple Leaf) Oil and Gas’ on-ice messages are direct and cannot be misconstrued.

The declaration of love is the motto of Canada Action, a grassroots, non-partisan group, that rallies support for the energy sector.  Members of the group met with Calgary Flames’ leadership and suggested the logo on the ice would be a nice gesture of support for the struggling industry and the team agreed.

"We do want to help them get the message out which is, really, the oil and gas industry in Canada is a really good industry,” explained John Bean, president and COO of Calgary Sport & Entertainment Corporation. “We are really good at it, technically and environmentally. We're leaders in the world and we shouldn't be apologizing, we should actually be promoting it and celebrating how good we're at it."

”When you think about the Saddledome - the fans, the community - and all of the investment from the energy sector that goes into the arts, non-profits, charitable causes, STARS Air Ambulance schools, infrastructure investments in schools and hospitals, that is what the energy industry means to the community,” said Cody Battershill, Canada Action’s founder.

The Flames’ rival to the north is also planning a show of support for the oil and gas industry. The Edmonton Oilers will be inviting 200 families with ties to the industry to attend their game on January 22 as part of a celebration of the energy sector.

With files from CTV’s Stephanie Wiebe