The IceDogs are fortunate to have found a great home in such a vast region, like Niagara. Throughout our OHL preseason schedule, we shared the ‘Dogs’ love with our local communities. We played our home preseason games against the Barrie Colts and Kitchener Rangers in community rinks, with all proceeds made being used to benefit local minor hockey associations.
On September 1st, your IceDogs headed to Thorold to play the Colts at Thorold Community Arena, home of the Thorold Blackhawks. In a year where the Blackhawks are revealing their new association logo, the Thorold Amateur Athletic Association (TAAA) is hoping to bring hockey back to the forefront of the community’s supportive efforts. Having current IceDogs’ roster players Kyle Langdon and Ryan Smith, play for the Blackhawks in the past, the event became an even bigger attraction to current Thorold Blackhawks players at all levels. Kathy Ditrich, of the TAAA noted that having former players playing locally at high levels is inspiring for current minor hockey players. “Each and every child can see their dreams through this player’s eyes and know that there is a chance that they can have success themselves”.
The Lincoln Minor Hockey Association (LMHA) were excited to host our September 15th preseason game against the Kitchener Rangers for similar reasons. Many of the players in the LMHA Blades’ system had the opportunity to watch some of their idols playing on their home ice during the game. The LMHA’s Head of Fundraising, Monique Nicholls, also saw the event as a way to bring other members of the Lincoln community together at the game; to bring more support to minor hockey in the area.
The TAAA seeks to make hockey an affordable sport for families to participate and enjoy alike, so fundraising opportunities like the OHL preseason game earlier this month, help go a long way to help meet their fundraising goals each season. The fundraising efforts are particularly used to help reduce costs to families to help pay for some equipment that can be provided to players.
Steve Arsenault, President of the LMHA, was especially thankful for IceDogs’ owners Bill and Denise Burke, for having the game at The Flemming Centre in Beamsville. This year marked the fourth consecutive year that an IceDogs preseason game was hosted at Beamsville Arena, and the support both the LMHA and the IceDogs receive each year has been tremendous to the growth of hockey in the town of Lincoln!
The Niagara IceDogs would like to thank the Thorold Amateur Athletic Association and the Lincoln Minor Hockey Association for their help and support in hosting our two home preseason games!