The Morris Multiplex arena and grounds was party central from Sept. 16-18. The inaugural Camel Toe Cup Ringette-Hockey Tournament hosted nine women’s teams in the arena for on ice games. The weekend saw a tent outdoors on the complex grounds to welcome guests with food service, drinks and music.
Jillian Klassen championed the event. Morris’s own Melissa Marion, Director of Marketing and Events for the Morris Multiplex, secured the venue in support of this fundraiser for CancerCare Manitoba.
Melanie Klassen, an elite athlete in ringette and hockey, successfully battled uterine cancer in 2015. In honour of her courage and determination, players, friends and family came up with the idea of a hockey tournament. The ringette teammates wanted in on the action also.
The game format is half hockey and half ringette. This mixed sporting event created an environment that was fun and less competitive for the athletes. Many players skated for the first time in the tournament. To meet a demand to be included in the event, three all male teams played a separate hockey tournament over the weekend. Limited ice availability forced tournament organizers to turn away teams.
The $500 entrance fee for the women’s teams and $300 fee for the male teams was divided between a donation to CancerCare Manitoba and access to the fund raising parties.
The organizers wanted to start a tournament that was a reflection of Melanie. With the help of CancerCare Manitoba, Morris Multiplex and volunteers, the tournament’s first year was scored a success and plans are underway for next year.
The evening of Sept. 18 saw the Pembina Valley Twisters for their home opener overwhelm the St. Vital Victorias at the Morris Multiplex. The 2016-2017 started with a pep talk from Mayor Gavin van der Linde. Michelle Mumford sang the national anthem before puck drop.
There was a strong fan turn out for the opener. Pat Schmitke, one of the owners believes local attendance waned as management of the team stumbled over the last few years.
The new ownership wants fans to know they recognize there were issues that would have caused the diminished support for the team. The ownership has been making changes to restore confidence in the home town fan base for their local team. Pat is encouraging those individuals who have put the team on the back burner to return and have a look.
Sunday night the team started strong taking one goal to the dressing room at the end of the first period. A brief lull in Twister effort at the start of the second period gave the Victorias the window to even the score. A missed clearing attempt from behind the net forced the Twisters to try and beat back the opposition on a power play.
The opposition’s goal evener appeared to wind up the Twisters who then produced two quick goals to luft up the Victoria sails.
Forcing special teams into extra ice time defending penalties was a pattern for the Twisters in the third period. They managed to avoid giving up goals to St. Vital while players made stays in the penalty box. It would be wise for the Twisters to not make the third period showing a norm. Opening the door for the Victorias with penalties may have had different results if St. Vital wasn’t missing two key players.
The Twisters went on to finish the game 6 to 2.
Sean Conway lives in Morris, Manitoba and contributes articles to the Southeast Journal, a community newspaper serving Rural Municipalities of Morris, Montcalm, Emerson-Franklin and the Town of Morris.