Outdoor Winter Classic a success

The National Hockey League had to cancel its annual Outdoor Winter Classic but that wasn’t the case for the OWC which has been held in Red Deer’s Bower neighbourhood which got its start a few years back.

“My wife and I were driving down the road in Calgary one day and we heard an ad for the winter classic (NHL) and we said ‘hey why don’t we do that?’” said Al Sim, one of the driving forces behind the Classic.

The event, which ran this past weekend, features teams of Midget A hockey players battling it out on a pair of rinks which are the centre of what resembles a small village, rising up over a few days of hard work by an army of volunteers.

The past two years some oilfield office trailers passed as dressing rooms for the teams but this year players were dressing in relative luxury.

“We made a little bit of money last year so we built our own dressing rooms,” said Sim, referring to the cattle shelters which include lights and heat.

The reason behind the Midget A players involvement is due to the fact this group of players doesn’t see the perks the elite teams receive over a season and so this is something special just for them, said Sim.

“We wanted to create something for them, especially the 17-year-old as it’s their last year of minor hockey.”

Another cool factor about the tournament is local businesses sponsor the jerseys these kids get to keep.

One year it was the original six, last year was the first NHL expansion teams from the late 60s and this year the theme was teams from the 1930’s which include the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Cougars.

There was also a 1987 Canada Cup event featuring novice teams wearing the maple leaf and the CCP of the former Soviet Union.

Future jersey plans may include the WHA teams and defunct NHL squads, he said.

This sort of thing doesn’t just happen without the support of the community and Sim said plenty of people get on board each year to make some magic.

“If it wasn’t for the community donating gifts in kind and the cash it would never happen,” he said, adding if this was all to be paid for out of pocket, the bill would be around $100,000.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Springbrook Community Skate park Committee receives $125,000 CFEP grant

Group is nearly 75% funded for the $635,000 Skate Park Facility

STARS launches 26th annual lottery worth over $4.5 million

Lottery raises money for new helicopters for Western Canada

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Legendary artist Amos Garrett heads to the City next month

Central Music Festival Society presents Garrett and Julian Kerr Feb. 9th at the Elks Lodge

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Environment Minister clarifies misconceptions in Bighorn proposal

Minister Shannon Phillips speaks to concerns around the Bighorn Country

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Three Ponoka men and one youth charged in assault case

Police obtained a search warrant and located drugs and sawed-off shot gun

Most Read