The Whitehorse Huskies were back on the ice Dec. 23 for a Hockey Fights Cancer exhibition charity game against the All Out Hockey/Mustangs alumni.
The Huskies came out on top, taking the win 4-3 in a tight game.
Admission to the game was by donation, and organizers say several thousand dollars were raised for the Yukon Cancer Society.
Prior to the opening faceoff, a brief ceremony recognized the achievements of the Huskies last season. The team won B.C. senior hockey’s Coy Cup and the game marked the official raising of the championship banner in the Takhini Arena.
This was the first time the Huskies were all together on the ice this year for a game, and head coach Michael Tuton said the team savoured the experience of playing again.
“It was a lot of fun. There were a lot of laughs and the dressing room was pretty loose,” said Tuton. “The guys were just happy to be back in the room.”
Tuton said he appreciated that organizers included a banner raising ceremony for the Huskies, something that seemed unlikely given the team isn’t competing this season.
“When this game popped up and they asked if we could raise our banner, that was pretty awesome,” said Tuton. “I didn’t think we were going to have a proper ceremony without a season.”
In some ways, the game was a perfect time to celebrate their championship.
“[It was] just really neat to see and take a minute and just enjoy it and not have a stressful game,” said Tuton, adding that being in the middle of a series or grinding through a season would have taken something away from the moment.
“It was just neat to have the opportunity to get that up there and pay some recognition to the fellas that went out and got it done.”
Their opposition for the night included some of the best local talent in recent years, including more than a half dozen players currently plying their trade in junior and university leagues Outside.
This is the second year in a row a charity game between the two sides has been held, and for Tuton it simply made sense to take part in the showcase.
“It was just a no-brainer to do it again this year … and let everybody at home get a chance to see these local players back at home for Christmas break,” said Tuton. “They can represent their respective teams down south and finally play a game at home.”
Contact John Hopkins-Hill at email@example.com