It’s that time of the year again, where firefighters and police prepare to battle on ice for the top spot.
The 11th annual Guns and Hoses charity hockey tournament is just a month away, but the excitement for it couldn’t get any bigger.
“We’re pretty blown away by the turnout, we always get lots of people and families cheering us on, we see signs and stuff like the kids wearing their firefighter costumes or their police hat,” Jeffrey Minhinnick, president of the BC Professional Fire Fighters Association’s Local 2685 and also a founder of the Guns and Hoses match, says.
“That night, everything’s a little heightened because there’s an audience and there’s music, it’s just a pretty fun environment to play in.”
The popular family event will have the RCMP face-off against local firefighters in a competitive game of hockey. All ticket sales will go towards local children through Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart for Kids program.
Minhinnick says that the program doesn’t only register kids to play sports, but it also helps them stay active by funding equipment and transportation costs.
“They help with registration fees to be part of sports or activities around town, and it’s not necessarily just things like hockey, soccer or baseball,” he says. “They also will buy you a bus pass to get to the gym because you want to go exercise, they help pay for all sorts of different things.”
In a previous interview with the Terrace Standard, Terrace Canadian Tire owner Bryan Gascon said one-third of children are unable to participate in sports due to high costs.
For Minhinnick, an event like this is great as it brings the community together and also allows them to continue raising money for the program.
“We think it’s important just because it’s showing team building and learning those skills early on in life, there’s a lot of proof that it can really help us to develop into the work world and into adulthood,” he says.
“I think having kids being able to be part of sports at a young age, especially when they otherwise would not be able to participate, it kind of really shows the importance of charities like this.”
He adds for the last ten years, they’ve managed to tie with the RCMP and won five games each. This year will be the ultimate test to see who the top team is.
“It’s kind of a bit of a tiebreaker so it will be good,” he says. “We’re just hoping that we’re going to be able to come out on top again.”
And all the support the crowds have given over the years has not gone unnoticed.
After a lot of enthusiasm from last year’s puck toss, another lucky person will go home with two Westjet plane tickets to anywhere in the world the airline flies. This will take place between the second and third period intermission, and whoever’s puck lands closest to centre ice will win the grand prize.
Guns and Hoses tickets are available at the door for $5, or from the Terrace RCMP Detachment or Terrace Fire Hall. Puck Toss tickets are $10 each. Doors open at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 15 at the Terrace Sportsplex Arena. The puck drops at 6 p.m.