The annual Thunder Challenge returns this September for the fourth year in a row, featuring a three-day tournament between WHL favourites the Calgary Hitmen, Kooteney Ice and Lethbridge Hurricanes. The actions kicks off with a game between the Ice and the Hurricanes on Friday, September 16th, followed by the Hurricanes vs. the Hitmen on Saturday, September 15th and a final game between the Hitmen and the Ice on Sunday, September 16th, all taking place at the Crowsnest Sports Complex in Coleman. According to Thunder Challenge Committee Chair Rory Snider, all proceeds from the sale of tickets will toward Crowsnest Pass Minor Hockey.
It’s a great way for our Minor Hockey Association to kick off the start of our hockey season,” said Snider.
The event started in 2009 as a one-time major fundraiser for minor hockey but has been brought back each year since due to its overwhelming popularity and interest from WHL teams. The concept was originally created to generate a hockey tournament that would get people excited and benefit minor hockey, and because of the positive feedback from fans and teams wanting to get involved, it soon became an annual tradition.
“The Crowsnest Pass has a lot of rich hockey history, and we hope that by having events like this, it gets people excited about the sport again.”
“We’re going to continue to do it as long as we have great community support, like we have always had.”
Snider attributes much of the success of the event to members of the community coming out to see it, the teams who want to be involved and the strong team of people who have organized it for the past four years.
Around 800 to 1,000 people attend every year and Snider expects this year to be no different.
Snider expects the tournament to continue as an annual event for many years to come, as minor hockey has received correspondence from several other WHL teams who would like to participate.
Snider said that this would be the first year for a draw that will be done at the tournament. For any person who buys a game ticket, signs the back with their name and phone number, they can be eligible to a draw for $1,000 cash. Tickets are on sale at local businesses including: Crockets Trading Company Inc., Copy Magic, Coleman Remedies RX and Servus Credit Union.
Tickets for the tournament are available for $10 a game, or $15 door tickets.
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