By Dave Leaderhouse
Community involvement and fundraising activities never take a break for any of the 12 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League franchises and with the second half of the season now in full swing it is time to take a quick look at what is going on, or is on the agenda, for each of the teams.
What is to follow is just a brief glimpse in the busy schedules of the SJHL entries with information having been gleaned from the individual web pages. There is always more behind-the-scenes action taking place and support from the general public is always welcome.
Battlefords North Stars – with the World Curling Tour taking over their home rink, the North Stars are on the road to begin the second half of the season. This is all a prelude to Hockey Day in Saskatchewan on Jan. 21 when the Battlefords will be involved in helping promote the sport with a neutral-site game in Shellbrook against the Notre Dame Hounds.
Estevan Bruins – tickets are still on sale for the Trip of the Month draw with three more giveaways still to be held. A trip to Phoenix was awarded on Dec 30, but on Jan 20 someone will be selected for a hockey excursion to Edmonton and subsequent remaining draws have a trip to Mexico and La Vegas being awarded on Feb 11 and Mar 3, respectively. Tickets cost $25 each and they can be obtained by calling the Bruins’ office at 306-634-7730.
Humboldt Broncos – just prior to the Christmas break the Bronco players went to St. Dominic School to pass out hot meals and sign autographs. The Broncos are very involved in the community and generally have a full schedule of off-ice activities.
Melfort Mustangs – the club will be hosting a Queen of Hearts Ladies Night Out on Jan 28. Tickets for the event cost $40 each and can be purchased by calling the team office at 306—752-2799.
Melville Millionaires – they started the New Year off by having a skate with the Millionaires’ fans following their Jan 1 home game against the Yorkton Terriers.
Nipawin Hawks – the annual Cash Super Lotto was completed just before Christmas with numerous prizes being handed out. The Hawks, like all teams, have a very busy schedule that goes year-round.
Notre Dame Hounds – in addition to being part of Hockey Day in Saskatchewan with the Battlefords, the Hounds have their annual Cash Lottery in full swing. A cash prize of $1500 will be awarded in February with March and April prizes to be increased to $2000 each. Tickets cost $80 and are available by calling 306-732-1218.
Weyburn Red Wings – the annual Sportsman Dinner is fast approaching with this year’s keynote speakers being former Toronto Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker and former Toronto Blue Jay Kelly Gruber. Tickets for the Jan 28 event are $100 each and can be purchased by calling 306-842-2212.
Yorkton Terriers – they too will be holding their annual Sportsman Dinner in the near future as former NHL netminder Clint Malarchuk highlights the line-up for the Jan 21 event. Tickets for that event are available by calling 306-783-4077.
Kindersley, La Ronge and Flin Flon are also very active in their communities doing a number of events each year with their fans and they also have numerous special events to raise funds to assist with hockey operations. Kindersley, for example, recently held a progressive 50-50 draw and are continuously out in the community while La Ronge hosted a parent’s weekend and Sportsman Dinner before Christmas with former NHLer Brian Skrudland brought in. While in the north Skrudland visited several school groups on behalf of the Ice Wolves and talked about the importance of staying in school. Flin Flon has a number of draws and events and just recently was named as one of the top hockey destinations in North America in a poll sponsored by Expedia.
The league, too, is becoming more active in the fundraising arena as one cannot forget the monthly educational draw that has been put in place to help generate funds to assist players with post-secondary educations. Tickets for these draws can always be purchased by going on-line to www.sjhl.ca.
The SJHL and its teams rely heavily on strong support from their fans and the general public. If any of the aforementioned events are of interest to you, please show your support. It will be greatly appreciated.