Flames Alumni fundraiser packs the house

Flames Alumni

It was hockey night in Three Hills on Saturday, December 2 as the Flames Alumni took the ice versus the Kneehill Minor Hockey Association Alumni Allstars to raise funds for the Kneehill Minor Hockey Association. In a high scoring game of friendly competition, the hometown favourites came out on top with a goal in the last three seconds of the game to win it with a score of 10-9. Goal scorers for the Flames included Gord Sherven, Brian McGratton, Tony Stiles, Brendan Morrison, Jason Hagel, Jamie Macoun, and Tyler Sloan. For the Kneehill team Mike Arvidson, Dustin Bauer, Ryan Knievel, Dennis Wagstaff, Jon Weigum, Garry Fyten, and Trevor Bauer all scored with the buzzer beater going to Eric Frere.

Over 700 tickets were sold for a game of few penalties, but much heart, as players and spectators alike donated their time and effort for the benefit of minor hockey in the county.

Leading the Kneehill team, as their Captain, was Kevin Haller, who grew up in Trochu and went on to play in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup with the Montréal Canadiens, in 1993. For the Flames Alumni team, Curtis Glencross led the way as Assistant Captain. As both Haller and Glencross grew up in small towns they understand the difficulties and benefits that come with small town minor hockey, which is why events such as these are dear to their hearts. Haller said of the event: “It was a lot of fun, and they planned the event so perfectly. They packed the house, they must have done some great promo stuff and they knew the flames were coming...I think they’re going to raise $20,000-$25,000, that’s their guess, so that’s a huge success.”

Glencross realizes the importance of a child’s minor hockey experience saying “that’s your start, that’s your grassroots...your minor hockey association is what you live for and that’s what you do” and while small town hockey is more difficult in some ways, it also has great benefits over city hockey. Hockey in small towns is so important to Glencross because kids “can get out and skate and have the ice time,” to which Haller adds that players get “full game times and floods in between periods which you don’t get in the city”. Events such as these ensure that minor hockey in small towns can continue so kids have the chance to play.

Jamie Macoun, a member of Calgary’s Stanley Cup winning team in 1989, as well as winning with Detroit in 1998, now the President of the Calgary Flames Alumni, felt that it was one of the best run charity events they have been to this year. Taking the microphone from announcer Ray Wildeman, while sitting out his tripping penalty, Macoun took a moment to thank the members of the Flames Alumni team for coming, explaining that “everyone who’s sitting there on that red bench came up here on their own time, because they’re all great people, and they support...40-50 charities per year and as the President of the alumni I put out a call and these guys answered the call, so thank you all very much!”

Summing up the day Glencross notes that “When the arena is that full and you have that much fun out there playing and raising money for a good cause it’s just wonderful.”