By Lethbridge Herald on December 11, 2015.
‘Good Sport’ column by Dylan Purcell
Team City faced Team Media in the annual Christmas Hope Charity Hockey Challenge Thursday at Nicholas Sheran, collecting money and food and unwrapped toys to help out during a difficult time.
It was a great night, hockey fans got to see former NHLer, Sportsnet commentator and former Lethbridge Bronco Rich Sutter take the ice. They got to support the Christmas Hope campaign, which spreads the wealth to the Salvation Army, the Lethbridge Food Bank and the Interfaith Food Bank. People who showed up got to see demonstrations from the Lethbridge Skating Club, the University of Lethbridge Ringette Association and local sledge hockey players.
The hockey game wasnâ€™t secondary to the whole thing, it was incidental at best.
The real game, the one that counts, is dependent not on skating skill or the open five-hole of Team City goalie Blaine Hyggen. The holiday season is one everybody in the dressing rooms at Nicholas Sheran on Thursday can safely navigate. None of them have been laid off, they arenâ€™t wondering how to fill a fridge AND pay a mortgage.
They arenâ€™t suffering.
But there are people who do, and they couldnâ€™t give a darn that I scored a goal on Thursday night. They donâ€™t care that CTVâ€™s Terry Vogt, who has been on the air longer than Mike Wuchterl has been alive, faced 50 shots in 30 minutes. They donâ€™t care that Team City added a top prospect and poured it on in the third period and turned the game into a blowout.
There are people facing the daunting reality of a trip to the food bank this season. They might need a few new or lightly used toys.
Think about that for a minute. Based on the demographics of people who read the newspapers, youâ€™ve probably got a pretty good life. Can you help out those who donâ€™t?
I like to think I can. So I sent my wife and kids to gather up some food and to donate some cash while I stumbled around the ice for a couple of hours. There was a 50/50 draw that I know raised more than $500. If Iâ€™d won, Iâ€™d have given it right back. Because my Christmas was made the second I stepped out on the ice beside Rich Sutter. Then I scored a goal. Then Rich Sutter scored one, while I was on the ice.
I have too much, too many blessings. What about those who donâ€™t?
This isnâ€™t a downer â€” or at least it doesnâ€™t have to be. Collect a few days worth of spare change and encourage your co-workers to do the same. Gather it up and dump it in a Salvation Army globe.
I felt pretty good during the Christmas Hope Charity Hockey Challenge. Team City was only up a goal heading into the third period and, worried they couldnâ€™t hold on, they traded for me. So not only did I score a goal and get an assist on Jeff Takeyasuâ€™s game-winner, but I was on the winning team.
That felt great, but it felt better to donate some money and some food and hopefully, to guilt a few other people into doing the same.
So ask yourself what you really need this Christmas and find a few bucks, some loose change or forego that third cup of Tim Hortons and give it to someone who will use it to save the season.
The score of the hockey game? My third-period teammates on Team City won it 9-6 meaning 15 hampers were donated.
As for that other game, the game of life? This game raised thousands of dollars and hundreds of pounds of food, so I think the good guys are winning.