Hockey extravaganza evening supporting SLMHA kids
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
“We’re excited. It’s going to be a great night and the more that join us the merrier.” That’s how Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association (SLMHA) president Rick McKenzie described a major fundraising event the organization is hosting to support its kids.
“We’re having an NHL legends game, which is our fundraising event this year. It’s going to be on October 20,” he shared.
Legends All Stars Hockey Events is coming to town with their Slap Shots and Boot Stompin’ Tour.
Their visit will include a Legends All Stars versus Sioux Lookout All Stars game at the Sioux Lookout Memorial Arena, to be followed by a meet and greet kitchen party at the Legion.
Everyone is welcome to take in the All Stars hockey match. The kitchen party is an age of majority event.
NHL legends coming to town include Rick Vaive, the first 50 goal scorer for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Mike Krushelnyski, a four time Stanley Cup champion, Cliff Ronning, an NHL veteran of 18 seasons, Jocelyn Lemieux who played 13 seasons in the NHL, Dave McLlwain who played 13 seasons in the NHL, Trevor Kidd who played 12 seasons in the NHL, and Jyrki Lumme, another veteran with 17 seasons in the NHL to his credit.
The Legends will be coached by Marcel Dionne, a Hockey Hall of Famer with 1348 games to his credit and 1771 points.
Music at the kitchen party will be provided by Jordan Aaron with special guests Kevin Davison and Aaron Pritchett.
“He’s popular in country music. He’s toured with Rascal Flatts and Garth Brooks,” McKenzie said of Pritchett.
“I’m ecstatic about this event,” McKenzie reiterated. “For these guys to want to come up and do this in our town is fantastic! We’re going to make the most of it. We’re hoping to sell out the arena. We’re selling 50/50 tickets. If we sell all our tickets, the prize amount is going to be $12,500. We’re hoping to sell out the Legion afterward for this kitchen party social event that we’re having… It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
“Six local people are going to be able to play with the NHLers and seventeen will get to play against,” SLMHA fundraising coordinator Grant Power shared.
SLMHA equipment manager and past coach convener Doug Pierce added, “We’re looking for guys, women, high school hockey players that want to be involved.”
Anyone interested in playing in the match can contact him at 807-374-2233.
“We’re going to have the players visit Sioux Mountain (Public) School. We’re going to have them meet our sponsors before the game and they’ll be in attendance at the kitchen party afterward,” McKenzie said. “A great opportunity to rub shoulders with some guys that played in the NHL.”
He added, “They’re putting on a clinic for the kids on Saturday morning so the kids in minor hockey can skate with them. It’s going to be a great couple of days. We’re also having intermission passes handed out so people can get into the dressing rooms and get autographs and meet the guys.”
“During the first intermission we’re going to have the little kids on the ice,” Power commented.
Power agreed it’s going to be a great couple days of fun and stressed, “The goal is to raise money to get jerseys and equipment for the kids.”
Game tickets are available at Gillons’ Insurance at 76 Front Street.
Puck drop for the match is 6:30. The kitchen party starts at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for adults, children 12 and under are $10.
McKenzie, Power, and Pierce said they could use a few more volunteers to help out with the evening.
Anyone able to lend a hand, or anyone interested in sponsoring the event, can contact McKenzie at 807-738-0181 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Sioux Lookout Volunteer Fire Department have already signed up as volunteers to work security for the event.
The support the event has already received from sponsors and volunteers has been amazing McKenzie said, extending a huge thank you.
More than 200 children are currently enrolled in the Sioux Lookout Minor Hockey Association.
Registration is open until December 31. Anyone interested in signing up their son or daughter can pick up a registration package at the Recreation Centre.
The league includes Initiation Program (IP), novice, atom, peewee, bantam, and midget divisions.
SLMHA players are on the ice three times a week for seven months of the year.
Each league also hosts a home tournament, in addition to teams travelling to play out of town tournaments.
“It amazes me how, for a small town, minor hockey requires a lot of volunteers, how many people do step in and volunteer their time so that kids can play hockey,” McKenzie said.
In addition to learning the game, McKenzie said children also learn how to be part of a team, make friends, get active, and have fun.
“We promote the have fun rule… it’s all about shaking hands after and accepting defeat, or taking the win and being cordial about it,” Power added.
“I’m excited about the minor hockey season this year… we’ve got plans to refurbish the trophy case in the arena. We’ve got plans to refurbish our equipment room in the arena. We’ve got plans to build a new website. All those things are going to do nothing but help minor hockey keep going forward,” McKenzie concluded.