The easily convinced Alumni group made history by fielding their first “father/son” team to play in a full-fledged charity game. When the idea was brought to one of the key organizers attention, it didn’t take long for the Ft. Nelson organizing committee to come to the conclusion that it was a great idea.
Leading up to the Big Game:
Once the idea was approved, tenacious work from Rick Amann ensured that it didn’t take long to put the team together. The team included the Oddliefson’s, Murray’s, Grisdale’s, Bromley’s, Le May’s, Melnyk’s, with support from Levesque, Malkoc, Brathwaite, and Vyse dawning the stripes.
After an early morning start and an entertaining flight up to Ft. Nelson, the team was greeted with open arms from the organizing committee which included our very friendly bus driver and equipment hauler. After a short trip to the hotel and scarfing down some much needed appetizers and beverages, it was time for a trip to the river. If you want to know what it was like, picture “Apocalypse Now” without the water skiing and the rebels firing at us from the bush…quite a ride. After eventually docking at a satellite trapping camp, dinner was served: open flame steaks made to your liking served with beverages and salads of all types.
With darkness quickly approaching, a return to the launch was necessary; an event that had its fare share of thrills and spills. The captain of the rightfully named “Bob Murray’s Bum Boat” surprised everyone with a rockford (90° turn) which left everybody on board soaked but smiling.
Saturday morning started out with breakfast and then off to play some golf at the Poplar Hills Golf and Country Club. Teams were paired up and off everyone went for another great time had by all. The afternoon was capped off with lunch and beverages for all participants.
Now it was game time, and the new Ft. Nelson Community and Recreation centre was filled with waiting fans. The Canucks Alumni dressing room was filled with those who had ‘been there’ and others who haven’t even come close. The highly anticipated father/son combinations soon came onto the ice, marking the first time they’ve played together, especially in front of an audience.
The game started out a little slow but it didn’t take long for the Grisdale’s, Le May’s, Melnyk’s, and Bromley’s to show off their abilities. Chris Levesque had to stay sharp but wasn’t tested too often. As you recall, Chris was the onetime net minder who came out of the library to the bench to give support to the Canucks when veteran net minder Dan Cloutier came down with an injury. During that game, backup Hedberg almost got hurt and Marcus Naslund got 4 points, a game to remember for everyone.
The Alumni game had some hi’s and lows for both teams. In the end, the Canucks Alumni took care of the Ft. Nelson Old Timers 7 to 4, or something close to that. Goals were scored by young and old and a fun time was had by all at the rink. The 2nd intermission witnessed over 100 young kids, grandmas, and all walks of life pay a quick visit to the alumni dressing room for an autograph session.
The evening wrapped up with a visit to the new curling lounge upstairs where shuffle board was played until the wee hours of the night. The weekend concluded with a more than generous helicopter ride for the whole crew; another ride on the river but from this time from another view point. Northern BC is really something to see, especially from that angle.
A very special thank you to Jaylene, Arnold, and Danielle Morine for all of their help in organizing this event. Special thanks to Doug McKee (B&S Trucking), Jim McDonald, Carla Peace, Karla Hodgson (Fort Nelson Minor Hockey), Zonk Dancevic (Qwest Helicopters), Bill Henderson, Terry Streeper (Poplar Hills Golf & Country Club), Dave White (Diversified Transport), Alex Everatt (Lakeview Inns & Suites), Doug McCrea (Central Mountain Air), Tyler Andrews (Boston Pizza), Fort Nelson Curling Club, Ken Johnson (Astral Media).
Story by John Glynn
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