First Responders, Minor Hockey Shine During Hometown Hockey

Wood Buffalo’s hockey pride was showcased across Canada over the weekend.

The RMWB hosted Rogers Hometown Hockey on Saturday and Sunday with hundreds taking part in the festivities.

Before the live broadcast, a ‘Parade of Champions’ showcased local teams while also recognizing the first responders during the Horse River wildfire.

Two firetrucks held a Canadian Flag over the parade recreating the scene many residents saw when they re-entered back in 2016.

Hometown Hockey Host Ron MacLean tells Mix News they wanted to come back and recognize those who helped the community.

“Jody Butz, the Fire Chief, and the Red Cross and all the people who came together to make it happen, you just get inspired by those stories.”

This is the second time Wood Buffalo has hosted Hometown Hockey after being one of the host communities during it’s inaugural season back in 2014.

MacLean adds they knew they had to come back to show the country how the RMWB has been able to recover.

Minor Hockey

The Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association also played a big part in the event, volunteering their time was showing off their pride on national television.

Like most organizations, the FMMHA saw a 2.5 per cent drop in numbers after the wildfire.

However, they quickly recovered as they posted a 3 per cent growth the following year.

“It’s a testament that minor sport is alive and well and people use that for getting back involved with the community and for healing after the fire,” said Travis Galenzoski, President of the FMMHA.

He believes families understood there is a healing power, especially with mental health, when it comes to sports.

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