2017 has been a busy year for hockey in the Yukon and it will close out the year by giving back to those in the community and honouring the Coy Cup champion Huskies who disbanded after their winning season.
For the second year in a row, the Whitehorse Huskies will take on the All Out Hockey/Whitehorse Mustangs alumni Saturday evening at Takhini Arena in a charity game with this year’s proceeds going to the Yukon Cancer Society.
The event was created by Jake Jirousek, who runs the All Out Hockey training program, and his wife Ann.
“All money raised will be going to Yukoners travel expenses, if they need extra financial support in any way there’s a little bit of extra money there for them,” Ann Jirousek said.
Last year’s proceeds went to the Whitehorse Women’s Shelter and this year Jake Jirousek said they decided on the cancer society after hearing of the costs incurred by patients who have to leave the territory for treatment.
“My dad, he’s battling cancer and he told us that people go off to Vancouver and get cancer treatment and don’t get funded enough,” he said. “If we can raise the same amount of money as last year, it makes life easier for people battling cancer when they have to leave to get their treatment.”
Each player from both teams will dedicate their game to someone they are connected to who has been affected by cancer. The “Hockey Fights Cancer” game will provide both teams with a unique opportunity. For the All Out and Mustangs alumni, it is a chance to reunite and play at home for the group who have played together growing up and then went off to play on junior or university teams outside the territory.
“When they were young, most of their games were away from home so it’s nice for them to be able to come home, play together, and be able to have their families watch,” Ann Jirousek said.
For the Huskies, a well-deserved send-off for the senior AA team who won the B.C. Championships at home in April before not returning this season. Ann Jirousek said the team will have the opportunity to reunite and raise their championship banner in Takhini during the second intermission.
As well as the players on the ice, Whitehorse hockey star Dylan Cozens will be in attendance with his silver medal won with Team Canada Red at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. Cozens is in the middle of his rookie season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.
Entry to the 7 p.m. game is by donation and 50/50 proceeds as well as Beer Gardens revenue will also be donated.
Ann Jirousek said it is likely funds raised will be matched by Nuway Crushing Ltd. who donated around $4,500 at last year’s game.