Council recognizes hockey title

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The High Prairie Red Wings hockey team was honoured by town council.

Town of High Prairie council proclaimed May 26 as High Prairie Red Wing Days at its regular meeting May 25.

The Red Wings became the first champions of the West Division in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League on May 22 after defeating the Slave Lake Icedogs 7-1 to sweep the best-of-five final series in the four-team division.

“It’s a symbolic gesture,” Mayor Brian Panasiuk says.

Council recognized the Red Wings on its website and electronic sign at the town office.

Council congratulates the Red Wings as head coach and general manager Kevin Hopfner appeared online as a delegation.

“Congratulations! What a run to end the year,” Panasiuk says.

“Anytime you have a winning streak and win a championship, it’s quite an accomplishment.”

Councillor Michael Long says the championship was a boost to the community.

“It’s big news in a bleak winter,” Long says.

The Red Wings ended the season on a 24-game winning streak, including five in the playoffs.

Restrictions in the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the 42-game regular season to 21.

As a delegation, Hopfner requested funding support from High Prairie council to cover the extra expenses such as regular COVID testing.

Council received the request for information.

Councillor Brian Gilroy asked CAO Rod Risling where funds would come from.

Risling says council could take funds from sponsorship and grants, which is for non-profit organizations.

He noted that the Red Wings’ hockey team is a for-profit organization.

“I don’t think supporting a for-profit organization is a good use of Town funds,” Gilroy says.

All five presents council members voted in favour of the motion.

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