Members of the Prince Albert Mintos and A&W Bears donned the jerseys that have been made specially for Saturday’s Flaman Outdoor Classic, as part of the official rink and jersey unveiling on Tuesday.
“For the Bears, a couple of the girls actually went online and there’s a program (where) you can design your own jersey. They were very proactive with that, and they really, really, liked the jerseys,” Outdoor Classic co-chairman Bruce Vance.
“It’s going to be a great look, and I think that the Mintos had a company design theirs. But certainly, (it’s) another very unique part of the whole experience for the guys,” Vance added.
Bears captain Kaitlin Willoughby said her sister designed the team’s jerseys.
“I don’t think (the design) was that hard to come up with. She just went on the website and did it all there,” Willoughby said.
When asked whose jerseys look better between the Bears and Mintos, Willoughby responded with a laugh, “Ours (are better), because theirs look like Christmas.”
Mintos captain Jason Duret retorted, “I know we’re going to hear a lot of things about it being Christmas, but Christmas is the best time of the year, and I like to agree with that.”
Willoughby made note of a host of factors that will face all of the players on Saturday, including the cold, sun and the fencing on top of the boards.
“There are some girls on our team who can’t even stand being at Buckland rink without getting cold,” she said. “Another thing is the fencing. If we’re going to ice the puck out, it’s just going to bounce right off.”
Duret reflected Willoughby’s sentiment with regard to the fencing, though he said playing the night game might also be a factor and that the puck bouncing off the ice will be the biggest challenge.
“It’s a lot different than indoors,” he said. “Our game, by the time it starts, is going to be at 5 (p.m.). The lights are going to be out, but it’s going to be a little bit darker out, compared to the morning games, and maybe that could be a factor.”
Vance had always envisioned a hockey event taking place at the outdoor rink since it was moved in 2010.
“First, I thought it would be great for the Prince Albert Raiders to play here,” Vance said. “Knowing our league now and all of the specifics that have to be exactly pinpointed … the logistics were just a lot at that standpoint.”
Both the Mintos and Bears will practise Thursday night at the rink.
The itinerary for Saturday will include an atom-level Prince Albert Minor Hockey Association game at 10 a.m., followed by the Bear facing off against the Saskatoon Stars at noon. Following that game, there will be more atom hockey at 2:30, before the Raiders take on the Saskatoon Blazers at 4:30.
Advanced tickets for the Outdoor Classic are $15 and are valid for the entire day. In addition to being available at the Prince Albert Raiders office, the Mintos will sell tickets during the Raiders game at the Art Hauser Centre Wednesday night.