Shilo, MB. – Members of the Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings will get a taste of being soldiers Monday when they travel out to Canadian Forces Base Shilo for their annual “Soldier for a Day” team building event.
The annual visit, which began six years ago on the invitation of the Second Batttalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, will see the players participating in a number of activities, from practicing casualty evacuation to setting up a tent with a variety of challenges.
Among the many challenges in store for the players and coaches – the obstacle course.
There’s always a parallel made between the military and sports team, generally regarding teamwork and trust, and a trip like this may increase the team’s camaraderie moving forward.
The original visit was arranged to help repay the Wheat Kings’ organization for hospitality the organization showed during the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup, held in Brandon.
Since the Memorial Cup, the ties between CFB Shilo and the hockey club have grown significantly. In addition to hosting a Remembrance Day game and helping to raise money for the United Way’s Community Fund that supports military families, the Wheat Kings and Team Kirkland (Glen Kirkland of Royal Lepage Realty) send one military family to each regular season home game this season, in recognition of their outstanding service to Canada.
One player that might be joining the trip to Shilo on Monday is veteran center John Quenneville.
A first round draft choice of the New Jersey Devils in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, Quenneville was reassigned to the Wheat Kings this weekend. Meanwhile Jayce Hawryluk rejoined the club from the Florida Panthers on Saturday night and helped Brandon skate to a 4-1 victory over the Broncos in Swift Current.
Hawryluk, who was chosen by the Panthers in the second round of last year’s draft, scored 30 goals and 65 points in 54 games for the Wheat Kings last season while Quenneville had seventeen goals and 47 points.
The Wheat Kings, who collected three of 4 points in this weekend’s home and home series with Swift Current, will return to action on Friday, October 2ndagainst Calgary.