4 the Love of the Game Novice tournament returns for another year

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 23rd year. The annual 4 the Love of the Game Tournament skates off in Morinville and Legal Dec. 6 to 8, bringing together two dozen teams for a full weekend of hockey action.

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.

“People can expect to see 24 teams of Novice players, across four divisions, participate in a total of 60 games over the December 6-8th weekend, at both the Morinville and Legal arenas,” said Karen Pelletier, one of 14 volunteers working on the event. “The tournament will feature a number of games, prizes, auctions, raffles and 50/50 to add to the tournament atmosphere, along with a memorial puck drop, a light show, national anthem and DJ player announcements providing a special player experience before games. The tournament will award players prizes for MVP and Heart & Hustle for each game, as well. It should be a really great weekend!”

Pelletier said everyone involved is excited about bringing the annual event to the Landrex Arena at the Morinville Leisure Centre.

“It is an amazing facility, and it will be an honour for this tournament to be one of the 1st hockey tournaments to take place in the new arena,” Pelletier said. “The event serves as a longstanding tradition of 23 years in our community and is highly anticipated. The tournament aims to honour Dennis and his love of the game; his legacy lives on through the joy, and fond memories that thousands of participants and their families have experienced [and] will continue to experience for years to come. It is important to us at Sturgeon Hockey to pass the torch from year to year and preserve the essence and history of this heartfelt event.”