The Colorado Avalanche will play its annual Burgundy/White Game tonight at Cadet Ice Arena on the grounds of Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, with puck drop scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
The Burgundy/White Game, which features Avalanche players in a three-period, intra-squad scrimmage, returns to Air Force Academy for the second straight season after a successful showing a year ago. Last year’s game marked the first time that Cadet Ice Arena had hosted a professional hockey game.
“We’re pleased to be working again this season with the Air Force Academy for a tremendous cause,” said Avalanche Assistant General Manager Greg Sherman. “This game was a huge success last year and we’re expecting another great turnout from our fans in the area.”
The excitement has been building for the Burgundy/White Game’s return to Air Force Academy, as it will mark the first time a handful of players will don an Avalanche sweater. And while these newcomers may not be entirely familiar with the Burgundy/White tradition, the players – including free agent signee Darcy Tucker – are ready to join in on the fun.
“I’m looking forward to it; it’s going to be a good time,” said Tucker. “You just have to go out there and play as hard as you can, but also have some fun with the guys and get ready for the preseason games.”
While the game will surely be fun and entertaining for both the participants and the fans, it also promises to be a competitive contest. Avalanche Head Coach Tony Granato
is quick to point out that the game is used as a measuring stick in the evaluation process by the Avalanche’s coaches and management.
“If you look at the depth of our organization as a whole, there’s still some decisions that have to be made and still some evaluations on quite a few players,” said Granato. “You just have to keep evaluating and put some guys in a little different position with different players to see how they play in those situations.”
But most importantly, the game will help to support a great cause.
The previous eight Burgundy/White games have generated in excess of $450,000 for various charitable causes throughout Colorado. Proceeds from this year’s game will benefit military families and initiatives of the Colorado Avalanche Youth Hockey program.
As an added bonus, fans in attendance will also have the opportunity to watch a shootout at the end of regulation regardless of the score.