Hosers v. Switchblades: hockey and fundraising

Country singer and former Vancouver Canucks draft pick Chad Brownlee signed his jersey, which was raffled off after the SOS charity game on Saturday night between the Hosers (local firemen) and Team Switchblade (former pros). - Tyson Taylor Photo
Country singer and former Vancouver Canucks draft pick Chad Brownlee signed his jersey, which was raffled off after the SOS charity game on Saturday night between the Hosers (local firemen) and Team Switchblade (former pros).
— image credit: Tyson Taylor Photo

The Hosers had a tough time with Team Switchblade, former professional hockey players, as they couldn’t put the fire out early on in the charity game.

The game, which finished with a final score of 8–4 for Team Switchblade, raised more than $3,000 for the Society of Organized Services Recreation Assistance Program.

Former NHLers Jeff Bandura, Richard Hajdu, along with Vancouver Canucks draft pick and country music star Chad Brownlee and former pros Nate Leslie, Kerry Gladson and Kevin Hoffman, put on a show for the fans in attendance on Saturday night.

The Hosers had the majority of the support Saturday night with a few jeers even being directed towards Dave Johnston; former Generals head coach, who suited up for Team Switchblade.

The SOS also held a 50/50 draw, with a prize of more than $200 dollars, and also saw one lucky fan win a Team Canada Sidney Crosby jersey.

The donations at the door came in at just over $2,000 and Team Switchblade made a $1,000 contribution to the SOS program as well.

Arthur Dahlo created the Switchblade itself, which is nearing final testing. Dahlo was behind the bench for Team Switchblade and had some great things to say after the game.

“It was a nice turnout. These guys came together for a good cause and to be able to put on something like this for the community is always great,” Dahlo said.

“A lot of these guys have been doing this sort of thing for years so it’s nice to see that they never lose focus on what being a part of this game really means.”

Fans also had a glimpse of country singer Chad Brownlee, whose jersey was raffled off at the end of the game to one lucky fan.

Brownlee, who was drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in 2003, was in Parksville for the first time and had a great experience.

“It means a lot putting on an event like this. It’s a great cause to be able to help kids with playing hockey,” Brownlee said.

“It’s an honor to be part of something like this and it really means a lot to be able to give back like this.”

Brownlee’s hockey career was shortened thanks to a back injury but his love for the game hasn’t gone away.

“Being able to play in games like this helps the hunger I still get from time to time when it comes to the game of hockey. It was a huge part of my life and taught me a lot of life lessons so to be able to come back out here and do this is nice,” said Brownlee. “I get to switch back and forth between playing hockey and making music so I’m pretty lucky to have the best of both worlds.”

The charity game Saturday night was just one part of a big weekend at Oceanside Place with the Grumpy Old Men Hockey Tournament. With 24 teams and six divisions (four with 45 and over, one for 55 and over and one for 35 and over) there was plenty of action happening Friday through Sunday. Check Thursday’s paper for full results from the tournament.

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