Thrashers pay tribute to Dave Evans

Dave Evans 2018

The Three Hills Thrashers Friday night game against the Stettler Lightning was “Dave Evans Tribute Night.”

Dave Evans was the first President of the Three Hills Thrashers, and an avid hockey lover, who held many roles within the organization for 13 years. He was a dedicated volunteer with the Minor Hockey association and could often be found in the stands. Dave passed away on June 16, 2018.

Reid Fenton, who was the first coach of the team, and the referee for the evening’s game, gave a touching tribute, sharing his memories of Dave.

Fenton said that Dave was all about doing the right thing, and knew how to make the hard decisions. As a coach, Fenton knew he “always had Dave’s support as long as what he was doing was the right thing to do and made the product on the ice better.”

Dave could be tough, but he had a soft side that was especially evident when it came to the kids in his organization. Fenton remembers how Dave would never want to be at the arena when players were getting cut; so much so that they used to pretend to cut players in front of him “just to see Dave’s reaction” which was always some variation of “don’t do that when I’m around, I don’t like that!” Even after players had gone to other teams, Dave would always ask how those kids were doing because “he genuinely cared.” After he had moved on from the Thrashers, Dave would still attend fundraisers, buy 50/50 tickets, and do all he could to support the arena and the Minor Hockey Association. As is true of all who knew Dave, Fenton and the Thrashers organization “will hold him close to our hearts.”

This season the Thrashers remember Dave with a “DE” patch sewn onto the sleeves of their jerseys. After Reid Fenton’s tribute, Verna Evans was presented with a Three Hills Thrashers jersey, by team captain Benett Kary, and members of the Evans family were on the ice to participate in the ceremonial puck-drop. One minute of applause was held to celebrate and remember the life of Dave Evans.

After the anthem was sung, the Thrashers came out strong, with a great first period performance by Thrashers goalie Devon Carroll.

The first goal of the game went to the Thrashers while on a Power Play due to a goal-tender interference penalty on Stettler. The goal was scored by Kevin Schrock and assisted by Tanner Sharp and Kyle Gray at 12:55 of the first period. Unfortunately the Thrashers were penalized for interference at 16:51 and a Power Play goal by Stettler’s Erik Rost tied up the game at 17:06.

The Thrashers were again put in a 5 on 4 situation after getting caught with a roughing penalty, but an exciting unassisted short-handed goal by Marshall Wilson found the back of the net to give the Thrashers a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.

The second period was rife with penalties for both teams, and at 3:29 the Thrashers went to the box for slashing, a penalty which the Lightning’s Rylee Jacobson capitalized on to tie up the game at 4:04. Stettler gained the lead with a goal at 7:54 by Jeff Ternes from Erik Rost.

The Thrashers had an opportunity to tie up the game and take the lead with a 5 on 3 opportunity, as the Lightning received cross checking and interference penalties at 11:55 of the second period. However, Stettler was able to kill off both penalties–a frustrating lost opportunity for the Thrashers. The period ended with Stettler still in the lead, a score of 3-2.

The game pulled away from the Thrashers once again with a goal by Reagan Holmes from Erik Rost and Tye Mulgrove at 3:38, with three seconds left in what had been a strong penalty kill by the Thrashers. Two more unanswered goals by the Lightning, one a short-handed breakaway by Quade Cassidy at 15:52 and another with 1:51 left in the game by Braydon Whiteford, would make the final score 6-2 for the Lightning. Shots were 41-39 for Stettler.