By Stan Ashbee
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Hockey is one of Canada’s premiere sports. On Sept. 5, Western Hockey League (WHL) action is coming to Coaldale, as the Lethbridge Hurricanes pay a visit to Coaldale home ice for an exhibition game against the Calgary Hitmen.
“This opportunity came to us, where we were able to host an exhibition game from the Hurricanes and we jumped on it. I believe it was in Taber in previous years, so they are no longer having it this year, so we had this opportunity come upon us,” said Adam Magarrell, president of Coaldale Minor Hockey, adding the event is also a fundraiser for the hockey association.
According to Magarrell, a Coaldale and Friends social will be held at the Community Hall to coincide with the exhibition game. The social kicks off at 6 p.m. and all proceeds will go to Coaldale Minor Hockey.
“I think it’s been a few years since we have hosted a WHL game of this calibre. We’re trying to change the culture and develop a new hockey development model in Coaldale. We want to get kids excited about hockey and hopefully this will help inspire kids to want to play the game and just a great thing for the community to be involved with,” said Magarrell.
Tickets for the game are $10 and can be purchased at the Town of Coaldale Administration Building or the Coaldale Food Market.
The game is being held at the Coaldale Arena and starts at 7 p.m.
“We assume it might sell out, so get tickets quickly,” he added.
Coaldale Minor Hockey kicks off in mid-September.
Esther Madziya, communications and public relations manager for the Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club, said it’s great for the organization to take part in exhibition games to prepare for the season.
“When we look at the schedule we try and get in five or six games during the pre-season. We do a tournament in the Crowsnest Pass each year, as well. We usually try and get our games played outside of Lethbridge. We always try and do one inside of Lethbridge but it’s always good to get out to the other communities and help out there minor hockey associations too. It’s a win-win for us.
We get to showcase the team and the young prospects that we have and at the same time getting to help out some of the minor hockey associations,” said Madziya.
“After a few years in Taber, where we had great response out in Taber, we thought let’s see where else we can go. It worked out that we were able to be in Coaldale this year,” said Madziya, adding other promotions throughout the season include the Teddy Bear Toss and Pink in the Rink.
The Lethbridge Hurricanes homeopener is scheduled for Sept. 19 against the Medicine Hat Tigers at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.