Next month, Lloydminster’s finest will be putting stick to ice for a good cause.
The first annual Battle of the Badges charity hockey game between the Lloydminster RCMP and Lloydminster Fire Department will take place at the Lloydminster Centennial Civic Centre Arena on Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. Proceeds from ticket sales and raffles will go to the winning team’s charity of choice. If the RCMP win the money goes to Midwest Victim Services, while the fire department will donate their winnings to the Lloydminster Sexual Assault and Information Centre.
“Charity hockey games have occurred in other cities and other detachment areas and they’ve gone over very well with great success,” said Const. Grant Kirzinger. “The RCMP is always looking for ways and opportunities to get involved and give back to the communities that we serve.”
Kirzinger said while there is not a fundraising target, the goal of the event is to raise money and awareness for the two charities.
“The Victim Services as well as the Sexual Assault Centre are organizations and non-profits that are in Lloydminster serving the people of this city and we feel that they are great recipients and partners of what were trying to accomplish here,” he said.
There will also be in-game prizes and giveaways, and some Lloydminster Bobcats players will be signing autographs during intermission.
Kirzinger, who describes himself as a “puck-distributing forward,” says the police have been looking over the competition.
“We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t do some scouting,” he said. “They definitely have youth on their side ... but we have some guys who have played some good, competitive hockey in their time.”
“I’ll be passing the puck between their legs with ease,” he said.
Fire Chief Todd Gustavson isn’t sure if he’ll be lacing up his skates. And playful jabs aside, he says the game should be an even match-up.
“I think it’s gonna be pretty equally-balanced myself, but stranger things have happened,” he said.
Kirzinger says the police may need to borrow uniforms this year, while the firefighters say they will be going with throwback sweaters.
“Years ago, the fire department did play a little rec. hockey and so basically we’re just using some older sweaters from back then,” Gustavson said.
“I think everybody’s going to win out of this. It’s not only the good exercise, but there’s the camaraderie between the two departments. And at the end of the day, everybody benefits.”
Bragging rights are not all that’s at stake. At the end of the match a trophy will be awarded to the winning squad.
Tickets are still being printed and are currently available at the RCMP detachment. Individual tickets are $10 each or $25 for a family of four. Admittance is free for children ages five and under.