Xtreme Hockey Night showcases local talent of all ages
Fans packed Clancy Richard Arena on Saturday afternoon for Xtreme Hockey Night in St. Paul, hosted by MP Brian Storseth, an event designed to showcase St. Paul’s hockey history while raising money for local charities.
While former NHL players Darcy Tucker and Shayne Corson were unable to attend due to flight issues, local players still provided a thrilling matchup for everyone who came out to watch.
“It was a great turnout. We were sold out again. The organizing committee did such an amazing job, it’s great,” said Westlock-St. Paul MP Brian Storseth. “We’re going to raise over $100,000 again this year. The real key to this is giving back to the Women’s Shelter, the Kids Sport Fund, the Ag. Societies, these organizations that do so much but really shouldn’t be out there fundraising. Those ladies that work at the women’s shelter have better things to do than fundraising.”
The charity game saw the Wolverines, captained by Tyler Poirier, jump out to a 5-0 lead, only to have Corey deMoissac and the Pats fight back into the game in the third, erasing the deficit to force an 8-7 victory.
“Their goaltenders obviously played very well today, both of them. (Justin) Anderson came in and made some big saves even though he was cold off the bench, and what can you say about (Cody) Rudkowsky, he’s an NHL-type goaltender. We had to change it up a little bit,” said deMoissac, who played under the coaching of his father Guy, whose name was retired to the rafter prior to puck drop. “Both teams played really hard, and it was a very fast paced, high-intensity game.”
Poirier, who’s uncle Wilf Martin’s name was retired to the rafters alongside Guy deMoissac and Pierre Dechaine’s, said it was great to take part in the game with some old hockey teammates.
“It was a lot of fun, I have a lot of good friends on the team. It’s a good group of guys in general, hockey is always a sport that brings people together past and present,” he said, adding the game seemed to get more chaotic as it progressed. “The rules seemed to be changing throughout the game so we tried to keep our team calm and just go out there and have fun. At the end of the day it was a good time to get back on the ice.”
No holds were barred in Saturday’s matchup, as members on both sides put out some feverish play, especially as the game tightened up in the later stages.
“We’re a pretty tight-knit group of guys that have grown up here playing hockey. It’s one of those things where everyone is really competitive and doesn’t like to lose,” said deMoissac. “We wanted to win, we got the win and it was a great game for all of us.”
Storseth added the competitive nature of the game was born out of the familiarity amongst players on both teams, and provided for a very exciting spectacle for the fans in attendance.
“You’ve got a lot of really good hockey players and this is a community where they all know each other,” he said, adding he even got into a heavy collision with one of his own teammates. “That’s the first time anybody’s fell down when I hit them. I’m going to be sore for the next few days.”
Xtreme Hockey Night also saw a skills competition, featuring bantam players from minor hockey organizations all over the Lakeland area. Andrew Sloan won the hardest shot competition, registering a slap shot at 124 km/h, while Tyler Musgrove completed a lap of the rink in 16.67 seconds to take the title of fastest skater, and Devin Nahirak outlasted his competitors to take first in the shootout.
“They’re the next generation of young hockey players,” said Poirier. “It’s great to see people in the community learning the game. That’s what grows the game, is to keep working at it.”
While the game provided a great atmosphere, deMoissac added the skills competition was an equally important aspect of the afternoon as it demonstrated the future of hockey talent in the area.
“That’s the biggest thing. We want to showcase the talent that’s around the area still,” said deMoissac. “St. Paul has been a hockey hotbed for years and years, and we want to make sure that all the communities around this area get to showcase all those kids. That’s just as big as the game I think.”