By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – The Morinville Jets will take to the ice in camouflage jerseys and socks this Saturday, but the change in attire is not to blend them into their surroundings as they storm the crease looking to defeat the St. Albert Merchants. The military-themed Jets’ jerseys are all part of the Junior B club’s salute to the military, an initiative that will culminate in the jersey’s being auctioned off to raise funds for the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).
Jets President Brent Mellville said the jerseys carry the name of individual players and Jets fans and families will be able to bid on the jerseys during the evening to help support the troops.
“With our military troops, I thought this would be a great idea to honour our troops,” Melville said, adding an invitation has been extended to the base through the MFRC.
The military salute and fund raiser is one element of what the club is calling Hockey Day in Morinville, an all-day, all-hockey event that will put Jets past and present on the ice along with minor hockey teams in a rink-packing day with five games.
“I kind of thought about doing something early enough in the year because when it gets cold, it’s tougher to do outdoor activities,” Melville said of Saturday’s event, noting some of the day’s festivities will occur outside, some for young and some for older fans.
Although Jet Alumni Day has been a long-standing tradition in Morinville, Melville said this year’s event will bring twice the action. For the first time, the alumni will play in two games – over 35 and under 35. “A lot of the over 35 guys didn’t want to play with the young guys because they’re getting older,” Melville said, noting the over 35 / under 35 concept will allow for alumni action with matched speed on both sides. “Those are kind of fun things, the alumni games.”
The older alumni will play at noon, the younger alumni at 4 p.m. Following each of the two alumni games will be a minor hockey game. First up will be the Bantam AAs at 1:30 p.m. The PeeWee AAs will play at 5:45 p.m.
“We wanted to throw in some alumni with minor hockey throughout the day, building up to the big game,” Melville said of the day’s schedule of contests.
That major event will be the Jets (2-0-0) taking on the St. Albert Merchants (2-1-0) in a regular season game. The outing will be the Jets’ second regular season contest against the Merchants thus far, and one Melville is convinced will pack the house as they often do.
In addition to the on ice excitement, the Jets will also hold their annual silent auction, a fundraiser for the Jets’ season.
Admission to all but the Jets regular season game is free. Admission to Saturday night’s Jets / Merchants game is $5. All games take place at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.