Published: November 30, 2016
BY JENNIFER PARSONS
Parents of the Red Lake District Minor Hockey Association (RLDMHA) Mitey Mites players were gathered together last week for an important team meeting. News that their coaching staff was quitting had jaws dropping. That is until the coaches let the parents in on the joke and told them the real reason for the gathering: their kids would soon be playing alongside the Winnipeg Jets.
“They couldn’t believe it, they were shocked,” described Coach Mathew Howie after the meeting.
“We played a little trick on the parents when we told them,” exclaimed Coach Bryan Boshold who was responsible for filling in the Tim Hortons Timbit hockey application.
“I saw it as an opportunity for the kids and to try to branch out and try something new for minor hockey in this area.”
The Mitey Mites players, who are made up of the Oilers and the Flyers have been one of 16 teams chosen to take the ice during the intermission at a Winnipeg Jets game to play a 10 minute scrimmage. Teams are randomly selected and are supported by Tim Hortons Timbit hockey program.
Boshold says the team was chosen for the March 4 game against the Colorado Avalanche and has been provided with 26 tickets to the game. The group will be reaching out to community organizations and will be fundraising to ensure that family members can accompany the players.
Gathering for a quick meeting at Tim Hortons last week the enthusiasm for the initiative was evident in the coaches, representatives of RLDMHA and their corporate sponsor.
When asked his thoughts on the initiative Tim Hortons owner Ron Parks said: “I think it’s a chance for kids to go out and see the big lights and maybe even meet some hockey players.”
Parks noted he will be accompanying the team and will help give the pre-game pep talk in the dressing room.
RLDMHA President Josh Cousineau said his executive was ecstatic with the news.
“We look at the youth that we have and they may not have the opportunity to go to a Jets game let alone take part in one. Any kind of activity that is over and above they will remember, they may not remember the scores of a tournament but they will remember playing with the Jets.”