by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – Jets rookies, veterans and alumni take to the ice over two games in two days this weekend in what has been a highly anticipated annual tradition. This weekend’s Light up the Night Festival will include both an opportunity for former Morinville Jets to show they still have it and for the current crop of players to show the alumni the Jets brand lives strong.
The Alumni game takes Jets from the past and puts them on the ice in a fun no-contact game. Although the hard checking is kept to a minimum, it is almost certain a mock fight or two will break out on the ice as has become a Morinville Jets Alumni tradition.
The alumni match concept was started some years ago as a way to allow former players to keep in contact with one another, if only once a year at a reunion game. “We’ll have about 50 of the ex-Jets out,” said event organizer and Jets organization representative Wayne Gatza. “We have a 36-year history and the alumni game has been going on for about 20 years now.” This year’s alumni will divide up into two teams: Team Blackburn and Team Knight, both homage to past active Jets volunteers Murray Knight and Roger, Dan and Roland Blackburn.
Alumni hit the ice at 6 p.m. Nov. 30 and will be followed by the NCHL Morinville Kings Senior AA regular season game at 8:30 p.m., a contest in which the Kings take on the visiting league-leading Drayton Valley Wildcats. Scheduling conflicts will see the current crop of Morinville Jets play Friday, Nov. 29 at 8:30 p.m. instead of immediately following the alumni game Saturday.