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From the Peninsula Panthers

December 10, 2012, Sidney, BC – A large crowd showed up at the Panorama Rec Centre Sunday for a 1:30 p.m. afternoon VIJHL game featuring the Peninsula Panthers against the visiting Saanich Braves, but a Zamboni malfunction caused ice problems and the contest was postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date.

The afternoon started with a lot of promise, had a moment where there were not a lot of happy faces but in the end all is well that ends well and for a large crowd in attendance, most left on the afternoon with smiles on their faces.

The Saanich Braves rode on to the Peninsula to face off against the Panthers for a Sunday afternoon affair and as the fans streamed into the Panorama Recreation Centre there was certainly a playoff atmosphere in the air. The two teams came out for the traditional 15-minute warmup and it was the first time that those in attendance were able to see the 3rd jersey that the team had made up for the contest. The plan was to play the game and once it was completed, an on-ice ceremony was to take place at which time 23 jerseys were to be gifted to 23 young Peninsula Minor Hockey players.

The teams completed the warmup and headed to the dressing room and that is when the direction of the day took a 180 degree turn. The Zamboni came out and early in the ice clean there was an obvious problem as it came to a halt just inside the Panthers blueline. The hot water emptied onto the ice and took it right to the concrete and that ended any chance that a hockey game would be played. The staff from the Panorama tried to make the repairs however when the referee determined that the surface was simply not playable, the game was cancelled and is to be rescheduled at a later date.

There were several minutes of trying to decide what would be the best course to take and the Panthers brass decided that they would block off the dangerous piece of ice and hold a skills competition with their own players. The fans stayed and watched and, although it certainly was not what they had thought they were going to watch, most stayed and enjoyed the afternoon. Once the skills comp. was over the door prizes were drawn for a sizeable 50/50 and then it was on to pulling names to determine who would go home with the jerseys.

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The Peninsula Panthers Hockey Club is pictured here with 23 lucky Peninsula Minor Hockey winners who each scored a 3rd jersey winning it in an on-ice draw. (Photo courtesy of Peninsula Panthers)

“It was a real kick in the stomach when the ice was ruined,” explained Pete Zubersky. “But everyone came to see the 3rd jerseys gifted to PMHA players and so that is what we did. I really have to tip my hat to Brad Peden from Peden RV who was the sponsor who made this event possible. He was so understanding through the entire afternoon, the Panthers cannot begin to thank him enough. There were still a lot of happy people leave the arena and we tried to make lemonade from a lemon of a situation.”

The Panthers next home game is this coming Friday when the take on the visiting Victoria Cougars with the puck set to drop at 7:30 pm at the Panorama Recreation Centre. It is the last home game for the Club before Christmas.