The PNW Group boys peewee team, seen here in action against Heat Yukon, was selected as one of 10 semifinalists in the Good Deeds Cup. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Whitehorse peewee hockey team picked for Good Deeds Cup semifinal

‘We’ve already won $4,000 for the food bank basically’

The PNW Group peewee hockey team was already having a season to remember, but it just keeps getting better.

Fresh off a second place finish at Hockey on the Hill in Ottawa, PNW was named as one of 10 peewee hockey teams in Canada to advance to the second round of the Good Deeds Cup, a charity contest organized by Chevrolet Canada.

To enter the contest, teams had to make a video showcasing players volunteering, helping in the community, performing good deeds and the like.

For their entry, PNW volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Whitehorse Food Bank and Share the Spirit. Over the holidays, the team sang Christmas carols for residents at Copper Ridge Place.

On top of all that, coach Mike Nemeth said his players have also been shoveling driveways, walking dogs and “whatever they could do and take a picture of.”

The team also got involved with Movember, sporting mustaches during a game to help Nemeth’s own campaign.

The deadline for entries was Dec. 31, but the semifinalists weren’t announced until Jan. 5 during the World Junior Hockey Championships.

Nemeth said he and coach Pat Tobler got the team together to “watch the game.”

“We both knew that we were top 10 finalists because we had been told to watch,” said Nemeth. “But we told the kids we were top 20, so they had no idea.”

PNW Group was the first team announced by the broadcast team on TSN.

“The kids just went nuts. They were cheering and they were absolutely ecstatic,” said Nemeth.

Simply by making it this far, the team has already secured $2,000 for their chosen local charity, the Whitehorse Food Bank. Team sponsor PNW Group has also said they will match that $2,000.

“We’ve already won $4,000 for the food bank basically,” said Nemeth. “It’s just incredible that we can do that.”

The voting for the semifinal round starts Jan. 15 and runs until Jan. 29. Entries will be whittled down to three finalists, with a grand prize of $15,000 for a local charity (in PNW’s case, the food bank) at stake.

The videos will be uploaded to Chevrolet Canada’s YouTube page and votes are determined by view counts.

“If we can get everyone in Whitehorse and the Yukon behind us voting, I think we have a really good chance of making a really good run at this,” said Nemeth. “Wouldn’t it be cool to bring some of that national money home for our local charity?”

Nemeth said his team has no plans on stopping their good deeds — they’ve got a trip to the food bank scheduled for the weekend — and that this may end up the highlight of the season.

“It’s pretty hard to top the Ottawa experience, but they were probably just as enthusiastic about this one,” said Nemeth. “It would be pretty nice to be able to bring [the grand prize] home for the food bank, especially because these kids got to do that incredible Ottawa trip. It would be a really nice way to give back.”

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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