Former Washington Capitals player, Kevin Kaminski, who played with the Caps between 1993-1997, is now currently Head Coach and General Manager of the La Ronge Ice Wolves Hockey Club, a junior hockey team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL). As a way of giving back to his hometown of Churchbridge, Saskatchewan, he arranged for the Ice Wolves to play a game against the Yorkton Terriers in Churchbridge on October 19. Technically, Churchbridge was a neutral site for the two teams to play. The same two teams had played the previous night at the Farrell Agencies Arena in a game the Ice Wolves won 6-4.
It turns out the community of Churchbridge had a thank you planned for Kaminski. Just before the contest began in Churchbridge, Kaminski was called to center ice before the puck drop. A tarp was lifted from one wall to reveal that the barn where Kaminski had first learned to skate now bore his name – Kaminski Arena.
“I had no clue that was coming,” said Kaminski, when interviewed during first intermission. “I was surprised we even got a game here in Churchbridge.”
In talking about the sign bearing his name, he added “that was pretty special and pretty cool. It made me have a tear in my eye.”
He also spoke about the town. “This town of Churchbridge is a special place, we’ve got special people in this town,” said Kaminski. “Maybe we can start a tradition, where we play a game here against Yorkton or Melville every year. I think they’re going to make about $15,000-$20,000 just alone here tonight for minor sports.” After the game, Kaminski posted the following on social media about the occasion.
“Lost for words as this happened tonight – shocked but what an honor it was… truly blessed with such an amazing community and people who have supported the Killer Klassic golf tournament (420,000) to date. And to have an SJHL game in Churchbridge vs the Yorkton Terriers & Icewolves was enough. But this is such an honor and so wicked cool. Thx you Churchbridge, Carter Prier and all of the minor sports who helped out.”
The game did not go as well for the Ice Wolves who lost a 3-2 contest in Overtime.
By Diane Doyle