P.A. to hold three outdoor hockey games

Alex Di Pietro
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Prince Albert will host three outdoor hockey games on Jan. 19 at the Crescent Heights Community Club, announced outdoor classic chairman Bruce Vance on Wednesday. 

Members of the Prince Albert Mintos look on as A & W Bears manager and outdoor classic chairman Bruce Vance announces that the city will host three outdoor hockey games on Jan. 19. 

“The (A&W) Bears, (Prince Albert) Mintos and Crescent Heights Community Club, with the support of the Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association (PAMHA), are going to host their first ever outdoor games at the outdoor rink here,” he said.

The midget AAA Bears take on the Saskatoon Stars at noon in women’s action and the midget AAA Mintos face off against the Saskatoon Blazers at 4:30, with some atom-level hockey sandwiched in between.

The event is being held as part of Hockey Day in Saskatchewan. Both AAA teams will be wearing third jerseys designed by each team to commemorate the day. Games will be broadcast on SaskTel Max.

“It’s hockey day in Saskatchewan, and we just thought it was a great event to showcase the facility of the Crescent Heights outdoor rink and bring two AAA midget teams to have some actual league games here,” Vance said.

The atom teams will be selling tickets for $15 a piece.  Each team will get to keep some of the proceeds, with the two teams that sell the most tickets partaking in the feature minor hockey game.

“Their game will be on SaskTel just like the AAAs, so it will be very exciting for those kids and their families,” said James Mays, technical director for the PAMHA. “And (for) the teams that don’t get on, they’ll still have the fundraiser of selling the tickets, so they’ll still be able to raise some money for their team.”

Mays expects there to be about 1,500 people at the event, during which there will be a number of activities held by Crescent Heights Community Club.

“They’re going to try and do some stuff in the rink and make it an all-day long extravaganza,” Mays said. “At minor hockey, we’re happy to help, because we really depend on our community clubs and their facilities throughout the year.”

The regulation 200- by 85-foot natural ice outdoor facility at the Crescent Heights Community Club will be completed with the installation of four player gates.

Mintos head coach Ken Morrison said the Crescent Heights Community Club has offered the team the chance to get some outdoor practices in as preparation.

“They’re pumped about it,” Morrison said of his players’ reaction to the news. “What the weather will be, no one can really control. But they’re going to show up. And one way to look at it is that it will be the same for both teams. Whatever the weather, we’ll just go out and give her.”

Bears captain Kaitlin Willoughby said she’s looking forward to the game, especially since her team will play the rival Stars.

“There’s a bunch of teams from around P.A. doing it, so it will bring out a lot of fans to show what our teams are made of and what we have here in P.A. for hockey,” she said.

Like Morrison and his Mintos, Willoughby said she anticipates that her team will hold a few outdoor practices to get used to the weather conditions.

“I heard if it is too cold on that day we might have it on the next day (of) that weekend,” she said. “But I hope it doesn’t get cancelled.”



Organizations: Mintos and Crescent Heights Community Club, Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association, AAA Bears Saskatoon Stars Prince Albert

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Crescent Heights

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