By Woodard, Dale on December 10, 2019.
The guys on the ice teamed up with the guys behind the scenes.
On Monday night the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Lethbridge Hockey Hounds stepped away from the Enmax Centre ice and headed to the lanes instead for a night sending the pins scattering at the annual Hockey Hound/Hurricane Players Bowling Night at Galaxy Bowl.
“We bring the players out for bowling and they can get away,” said Garry Robinson, a former Hockey Hound president. “We volunteer with the Hurricanes, so we come out here and we’re able to do this for the boys.”
It’s been a relationship that has flourished for nearly half a century. Since forming in the 1972-72 season, the Hockey Hounds continue to support and promote local hockey, provide financial support for minor hockey and contribute to the WHL Players Education Fund through the sale of 50-50 tickets at Hurricanes home games.
“It gives them a chance to meet us because they don’t see us,” said Jose Wojszel, former past president. “We donate most of our money to their education fund and without this they don’t get the chance to interact with us. It’s nice.”
Since starting out at the beginning of the 1970s, numerous volunteers have passed through the Hockey Hounds ranks.
The efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. In 1990 the Hockey Hounds were inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame and into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2007 in the Builders Category.
“Over the years people follow and people join,” said Robinson. “Basically, their idea for joining is saying ‘I’d like to do that and help the Hurricanes with their education fund.”
Still, the Hockey Hounds are always looking for new members.
“It’s not for everybody and there’s lot of time involved,” said Wojszel, adding those interested can visit the Hockey Hounds 50-50 booths at Hurricanes home games for more information.
Those educational opportunities make the WHL an attractive route, said Hurricanes overage defenceman Koletrane Wilson.
“You get a year of school with it and an education package, which is awesome. I’m definitely taking advantage of it. When you’re in your 20-year-old year you have to look at what you’re going to do after the fact. I’m definitely going to look into it.”
Thanks to his father’s line of work, Wilson has an idea of where he wants to take his career path.
“My dad is a police officer (in Edmonton), the criminology area really appeals to me,” he said. “Once the season is over I’ll weigh my options and what the schools offer.”
The Hurricanes are back at the Enmax Centre Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when the Red Deer Rebels come to town.
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