Spectators attending the first-ever Superior International Junior Hockey League all-star game tonight can dig into some free burgers, pop, and hot chocolate beforehand at the Memorial Sports Centre lobby.
The local M&M Meat Shops will be holding its second “tailgate” party of the season to help ring in the game.
“It’s just a fan appreciation thing,” said M&M manager and tailgate party organizer Garth Donald, who added those not planning to attend the game also are welcome to stop by.
The party will begin just before 6 p.m. and run until the puck drops at 7:30 between the SIJHL all-stars and the OCN Blizzard of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
M&M Meat Shops held a similar tailgate party before the Borderland Thunder’s first home game back in October. Donald said it was well-received and is expecting the same result tonight.
On the ice, both the Blizzard and SIJHL all-stars have been in town since Monday and have held two practices.
The Blizzard, the three-time defending MJHL champs, sport an impressive 48-4 record so far this season.
Five Thunder players—Matt Johnson, Kevin Webb, Ian Lockman, Jay Philips, and goalie Rob Hrabec (who helped lead the Blizzard to the 2000 MJHL title)—will suit up for the SIJHL.
They’ll be coached by Thunder head coach Wayne Strachan, assisted by Todd Howarth (Feathermen Hawks) and Al Trotz (Dryden Ice Dogs).
As of yesterday, only a handful of tickets were still available for tonight’s game.