The highly anticipated Cameco Hockey Day in Saskatchewan has quickly moved up the calendar since its official announcement in October. This Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons, minor hockey games featuring the Wadena Wildcats will take on several visiting teams from the Novice level and up.
Wadena Elementary School students ramp up for the big Cameco hockey week by making a model of the ice rink at the Wadena Recreation Centre. -Photos Andy Labdon
Guest teams will include Triple A Female Midgets from Swift Current and Melville, Triple A Midgets from Notre Dame and Tisdale, as well as the Notre Dame Hounds and the North Battleford Stars of the Sask. Junior Hockey League (SJHL), all on Saturday.
Included among the visiting teams are former Wadenans Austin Bilokraly, #16, who plays forward for the Tri-Town Thunder and is the son of Meagan and Robbie Bilokraly, plus Carson Scheschuk, #25, who plays defence for the Tisdale Trojans AAA Midgets; he is the son of Tracey and Sheldon Scheschuk. Chelsey Jones, daughter of Wanda and Brad Jones, will be returning as a referee for the AAA Midget girls’ game. Mackenzie Balogh, of the Melville Prairie Fire AAA Midget girls, was picked by her league as the third star for the month of November 2015 and is the granddaughter of Harvey and Carol Bowers.
Sunday’s highlights will be the Wildcat Midget girls’ and boys’ teams, and the Junior B Tri-Town Thunder from Carrot River facing the Traveland RV Storm from Pilot Butte.
The halls at the elementary school in Wadena are all decked out in anticipation.
Other planned activities include the big banquet and auctions Friday evening at Wadena Community Legion Hall, featuring emcee Rod Pedersen, Voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and guest speaker Darren Dutchyshen of TSN SportsCentre fame, formerly of Porcupine Plain. There will be plenty of action with the array of prizes lined up for the silent and live auctions after the banquet. It promises to be a great evening.
On Saturday morning a hearty pancake breakfast will get everyone off to a good start in order to watch the Junior Novice Wildcats learn a thing or two from the Battlefords North Stars. Then for a little family fun, should you need some fresh air, activities hosted by the Wadena Baptist Church will feature sleigh rides, tobogganing, bonfire, snow painting and outdoor skating from 1-4 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Wildcat Battalion Park, adjacent to the Recreation Centre. If the wind chill is minus-25C or colder, the outdoor family fun activities will be cancelled; otherwise, the organizers ask that you provide supervision of your children.
Later that evening, kick it up a notch after the SJHL game and let off some steam with Third Degree Birnz, a Saskatchewan-based country and rock group playing at the cabaret back at the hall.
Wake up Sunday morning to attend the community church service at the hall, starting at 10 a.m., before heading to the Recreation Centre for some more local hockey. A beef-on-a-bun lunch is planned for Sunday at the hall, starting at 11 a.m. The final event will be the Junior B game Sunday evening at 7 p.m.
More volunteers are needed for cleanup after various activities. Please contact Wendy Parish at 306-338-7599 if you can pitch in.
Whew! It’ll be a great week. So pick an activity – or six – and we’ll see you there! If you can spare some time to help, please add your name to the list and support your local minor sports association and the committee that has worked hard to bring this incredible opportunity to Wadena.
By Alison Squires