LANGLEY, British Columbia – On Feb. 25, 2012, the Trinity Western hockey-playing alumni will be back in town.
For one Saturday night, as part of a celebration of the University’s 50th anniversary and as part of a fundraiser for Spartans hockey scholarships, the best of the Trinity Western hockey alumni will descend upon the Langley Events Centre for a contest against the Vancouver Canucks Alumni.
With the likes of Bill Ranford, Doug Bodger and Larry Melnyk suiting up for the Canucks Alumni and Trinity Western legends like long-time coach and player Dr. Chuck MacKnee, his son Josh MacKnee – who played seven years for the club with his last season being 2009-10 and led the team in scoring each season – Ken Newman and Rob Bogress – the latter two having been named conference all-stars back in 1987-88 – the game is setting up to be a classic in every sense of the word.
Guiding the Canucks Alumni team from bench will be former Canuck Ryan Walter, who is also a Trinity Western alumnus and is currently the president of the Abbotsford Heat. On the opposite side will be long-time Trinity Western bench bosses Bill Luke and John Holyk.
The night will be filled with great hockey and memories of days gone by.
The Spartans hockey program, which currently plays in the BCIHL (British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League) under the Spartans moniker, was first developed in 1973-1974, when they competed in the Fraser Valley Hockey League. Then, in 1976-77, the Spartans, under head coach Allan Kotanen, joined the BCCAA, where they continued to play until the 1990-91 season.
After the 1990-91 campaign, the Trinity Western men’s hockey team played as a club team for the next 10 years, largely under the leadership of Dr. MacKnee, before they became the Titans, and more of an official club team, in 2001. From there, the Titans were instrumental in building what is now known as the BCIHL as they hosted and won the first British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey Championship Tournament in 2003 and then again in 2004.
Since then, the Trinity Western hockey program has played in the BCIHL, first as the Titans, and then as of 2010, as the Spartans.
Now, the best from many of those days will return to Langley and put their talents against the best the Canucks alumni have to offer.
“This benefit game will bring in support and give our current Spartans team the chance to see the men who went before them and those who helped build this program,” said Spartans head coach Dwayne Lowdermilk, who returned to coach at Trinity Western three years ago after having coached the Spartans in 1988-89. “It is great to see the Trinity Western hockey alumni getting excited about rejoining their teammates of past. This will be a great opportunity to show and share recognition for Trinity Western’s 50-year celebration and also the future of Spartans hockey.”
Game time is at 8:00 p.m. at the Langley Events Centre.
There will be opportunities for the general public to get autographs from the Canucks alumni in attendance from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.
There will be a silent auction at the game, with funds going to Spartans scholarships, including items like a Vancouver Canucks team signed jersey and a pair of lower bowl tickets to the Canucks March 30 game against Dallas.
The Langley City Fire Department will also be at the game and will be collecting money for the Fire Fighters Burn Fund. Half of the money collected by the fire fighters will go to the Burn Fund and half will go towards Spartans hockey scholarships.
$10 – Adult
$5 – Child (13-18)
$2 – TWU Student (with student ID card)
FREE – 12 & Under
Available at: Ticketmaster.ca