Thirty-six past players from the Midget Tigers hockey team came together recently for an alumni game.
The game was part of a fundraiser for the team, which took place at the NexSource Centre on Jan. 19.
The players on the ice that night played on the team as far back as the 1980s up to recent graduates of the program.
Some of the alumni were able to boast provincial championships and gold medals, such as the team from 1986 who won gold at the Alberta Winter Games.
The for-fun game had an impressive cross section of players who continued their hockey career to play pro, college and junior hockey. Many of the alumni went on to become local business owners, volunteers and fathers of current players.
A few players that continued on with hockey to a higher level include: Joe Vandermeer (93-94), Pete Vandermeer (91-92) and Geoff Liska (87-89).
Split into two teams for the game, Team White was coached by Graham Parson and Cal Thudium, while Team Red have the “Barnzee Boys” Scott and Sean Barnes behind the bench.
The night of hockey is the return of an old tradition. The Christmas Tigers Alumni Tournament, which was held in the 1990s and early 2000s. The event ran over an entire with enough players to put together four teams.
The tournament was the last time team members have been able to come together to play a friendly game of hockey.
There have been many attempts in the past to get members together, but difficulties were brought about at each cross road, such as the old arena collapsing.
The current team and the alumni believed now was the perfect time to restart the tradition, and chose to cooperate together.
The alumni game was held in conjunction with the current team’s pub night, which was held after the game at Viewpoint Lounge.
The organizers hope the game will be a “catalyst” for continuing the tradition for years to come. With two functioning arenas and the Viewpoint Lounge, organizers say the “timing is perfect to restart the tradition…”