The hockey setting was Silver Creek Golf Course on Garden River First Nation.
Twenty-two teams and more than 150 players took part in the first-ever Silver Creek Winter Classic, a 4-on-4 hockey tournament that was played outside on three man-made rinks.
“This was pretty cool and a ton of fun getting to play with our buddies outside — just as we did when we were kids learning to play the game,” said Micky Sartoretto, who played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Kitchener Rangers and Saginaw Spirit before finishing his junior career at home as championship captain of the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League.
“We had a great weekend and to help out some kids and raise money to send young hockey players to summer hockey camp is what it was all about,” added Sartoretto.
The event raised money that will send some deserving young players to erstwhile pro Rico Fata’s “Fast By Fata Hockey School” that will be held in Sault Ste. Marie this summer.
Parents and kids were asked to submit stories describing their passion and love for the game of hockey and why they would like to attend the summer camp.
Tournament organizer Jamie Henderson said he received “tremendous submissions” from local families.
“For me it was extremely rewarding to read the stories that were submitted,” said Henderson. “The passion these kids have is so inspiring and they all have such big dreams.”
About a dozen young hockey players will be participating in Fata’s summer hockey school thanks to the participants and support from the local corporate community.
Little Caesars Pizza, which recently opened in Churchill Plaza, was a major sponsor of the Silver Creek Winter Classic.