NHL hockey players, Winnipeg police face off for charity
Published Saturday, November 17, 2012 10:52AM CST
Last Updated Saturday, November 17, 2012 6:22PM CST
Hundreds of Winnipeg hockey fans got a much-needed dose of NHL action Saturday afternoon at the University of Manitoba.
The Goals and Dreams Hockey Challenge is saw hockey greats from the NHL players association face off against Winnipeg police officers for charity.
An all-star team came out, including Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, Olli Jokinen, Tanner Glass and Jonathon Toews among others.
The event was the first time hockey fans in the city got a chance to see the Winnipeg Jets in action, after the NHL locked out its players before the 2012 season could start.
Fan Carly Wilson said she couldn’t wait to see the game.
“It’s been really hard,” said Wilson. “We’re used to going to games in the winter.”
Winnipeg Jets fan Chris Mavroudis said he’s missed watching games since the NHL lockout.
The event included an autograph session and a chance to win players’ jerseys.
“Fifteen years I’ve been waiting, and we just got them back last year. So we’re just trying to fill it however we can,” said Mavroudis.
The game saw Winnipeg Jets and Winnipeg police officers divided across two teams.
According to Winnipeg police, many of the participating officers have experience in the NHL, AHL, WHL or other leagues.
“We just thought it was a perfect scenario and a perfect time,” said Const. Shaun Chornley of the Winnipeg Police Service.
The event hoped to raise $60,000 to be split evening between the Dream Factory Foundation, a Manitoba-based charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses, and The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.
“We provide dreams for kids that are really sick. It’s a great partnership,” said Grace Thompson of the Dream Factory Foundation. “We’re both Manitoba charities so the money stays in the province.”
The team has raised over $280,000 for Manitoba-based charities since 1998.