Hutterite women's hockey team hit the ice to raise money for Syrian family
WINNIPEG -- A hockey team made up of women from Manitoba’s Hutterite community hit the ice one last time Monday night as they took on a team from MacGregor, Man.
Women from the Baker Storm team faced off against the MacGregor Iron Maidens in a packed stadium gliding onto the rink in skates and skirts at the Stride Normac Centre in MacGregor.
Baker Storm has come a long way since its first charity hockey game a decade ago.
“It’s definitely picked up momentum, at first it was mostly just dads, but I think word got out and people were interested in seeing this game and it is uniquely Canadian,” said event organizer Tirzah Maendal.
“We love just the community spirit of the whole thing, getting out, filling the rink, getting to play against people we don’t normally play against,” said Pam Staples, a player on the MacGregor Iron Maidens.
This was the last time the two teams faced off. After 10 years, Maendel said, players are ready to hang up their skates.
But not before helping reunite a family of Syrian refugees.
Mohamed Bakr, 23, moved to Manitoba three years ago from Damascus. His brother and sister-in-law followed.
Money from Monday night’s match will go towards trying to bring Bakr’s sisters to Canada.
“They’re working really hard to bring our family here and we really appreciate it,” said Bakr.
The Baker Storm’s hard work also paid off on the ice when they beat the iron maidens 7-1.
Maendel said the victory is twofold.
“I’m sure a lot of people are surprised that Hutterite women do play,” she said.
“Maybe it’s made us a little bit more approachable, a little bit more fun.”
The women on the Baker Storm team were from Hutterite communities across Manitoba and range in age between 16 and 39.