Jan. 15, 2019
by Stephen Dafoe
Thirty years after Novice hockey player Dennis Blair Borduzak passed away, his memory is kept alive through a memorial tournament now in its 22nd year. The annual 4 the Love of the Game Tournament skates off in Morinville and Legal Jan. 24, bringing together 26 teams for a full weekend of hockey action.
Teams from as far away as Grand Prairie and Bonnyville are taking to the ice to pay homage to the game and the young man who loved it so.
Borduzak passed away following his Novice year of hockey in 1989. The name of the tournament pays homage to the late hockey player’s number 4 jersey, which was retired in Legal in 2004.
The tournament includes seven Sturgeon Hockey Club teams (Mustangs 1-7). Sturgeon 1 and 2 will play full ice. Sturgeon 3 to 7 will play half ice following Novice program changes implemented by Hockey Alberta.
Novice Director Cory Roy said the half ice format tournament would be a first for the Novice players. “Event execution will require 240 volunteer hours, plus countless planning and preparation hours in advance of this event,” he said.
But the effort has always been worth it for minor hockey and for remembering a player who passed away three decades ago.
“4 the Love of the Game is our flagship tournament that we are known for and proud of. Preserving the memory and essence of this long-standing heartfelt memorial event is meaningful to us,” Roy said. “Our aim is to provide a special player experience while promoting team spirit and community togetherness. Traditions are special, after 21 years it is important that we maintain our history. We will ensure this event continues to put smiles on young players faces and warms the hearts of spectators for years to come. ”
There are three games Jan. 24 and Jan. 25 in Morinville starting at 5:45 p.m. each night. Saturday will see 11 games in Morinville starting at 7 a.m. and 8 in Legal starting at 10:15 a.m. Sunday has four finals games starting at 7:45 a.m. and six games in Legal starting at 8 a.m. including five final games starting at 9:15 a.m.
Part of the weekend’s excitement includes pre-game DJ performances and light shows, progressive 50/50, raffle tables, prize games, silent auctions, sports memorabilia and other activities.