The national television spotlight will be on the Wellington Dukes and Lindsay Muskies this Saturday, Dec. 17 for the Ontario Junior Hockey League Game of the Week on CHCH.
Game time is 3 p.m. at Lehigh Arena, located at the Wellington & District Community Centre. Check your local listings for CHCH channel information. The host Dukes are 22-7-2-1 while the Muskies sit with a record of 10-21-1-1 to date this OJHL season.
“The OJHL is proud to bring the Game of the Week to Wellington,” said Rick Morocco, Director of Business Development and Events for the OJHL. “Wellington has been a great host and no doubt will have an amazing day planned when CHCH broadcasts great OJHL action versus the Lindsay Muskies.”
Admission to the game is free for those who can attend in person, thanks to generous sponsorship from internet provider Xplore Inc. (xplore.ca).
“Xplore is grateful for the opportunity to give back to the community and the Wellington Dukes by sponsoring this weekend’s hockey game,” said Trevor Algar, Regional Marketing Manager – Ontario Central and East for Xplore Inc. “We hope that by covering the ticket cost for all attendees we give everyone the chance to come out and kick off the holidays together as we cheer on the team! Go Dukes!”
Activities during the day include a lunch and a skate with Santa Claus, Sparky and Dukes players from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register for the event at wellingtondukes.ca, by calling 905-914-7454 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Children will receive a free gift from HockeyStickMan (hockeystickman.ca) on Saturday.
In addition, firefighters from Wellington and Consecon will be selling poinsettias and wreaths in support of charities for Christmas.
Meanwhile, for those watching the game at home, broadcast duties for the OJHL Game of the Week this season are being handled by the iconic Rod Black on play-by-play and Alan Corkum on colour commentary.
“I love the OJ. Truthfully, I’ve always loved junior hockey at any level…and I’m a big fan of junior A hockey just because of the real push towards academics and the fact that so many of these kids get opportunities to further their education down the road and the level is so high,” Black said in a recent interview.
Black noted he used to broadcast the national junior A championship when it was known as the RBC Cup (now the Centennial Cup). Some players go on to become household names, including Cale Makar of Colorado Avalanche who played for the Brooks Bandits, runner-up to the host Cobourg Cougars at the 2017 national junior A championship tournament.
“I love the competitive nature of (junior A hockey) and I’m really privileged to have the opportunity (with the OJHL). When they asked me to do it I thought for exactly about a millisecond and said ‘yeah I’d love to do it.”
Black lives between Aurora and Stouffville and has been to his share of OJHL home games for the Tigers and Spirit.
“I go to their barns and it’s fun,” he remarked. “My biggest thing for the league, just as an outsider coming in, is just get more kids to the games. Whatever it takes to get….young boys and young girls teams to the game, those local heroes become your icons and inspirations later. I remember as a kid growing up, I used to go to junior and senior games in Winnipeg and I looked up to them. I’ve always said that parents don’t drive kids to games, kids drive parents to games. It’s affordable, it’s a good ticket, get out there and bring your kids because it’s a real good product. There are teams in all of these smaller communities and they are the definition of that that town is about. I love it.”