Whether you were a Toronto Maple Leafs fan or not, the Alberni Valley Multiplex was buzzing last Friday as the Port Alberni Association of Community Living (PAACL) Bombers faced off against the Maple Leafs alumni.
People came from as far away as Campbell River to attend a fundraising meet and greet with some of the former National Hockey League players and to watch a fun hockey game. Former NHLers like Rick Vaive, Brad May, Al Iafrate, Mike Krushelnyski, Trevor Kidd and Nik Antropov took to the ice against the Bombers in the annual Inclusion Cup, hosted by PAACL.
A Timbit hockey team even helped score some goals against the Maple Leafs during an intermission between the two, 20-minute periods (the Zamboni driver was nowhere to be seen). There were no penalties called, just penalty shots, and the second period started with a shootout.
Craig Summers from PAACL said the fundraising event was a success.
“I think we did well. We made money on it, for sure,” he said.
“Our intent was to spread the word of inclusion. Our first priority was about inclusion and community living. Then bringing these guys here to raise money to help our agency.
Rick Vaive, who scored half a dozen goals in the 40-minute game, has been playing with the alumni for about 15 years. “We’ve been all over the country, which is a lot of fun,” he said. “We enjoy helping out communities like this and doing what we can to help them raise money for people that need it.”
Funds raised during the game will go primarily to the Pathways drop-in program that PAACL operates from its Second Avenue office.
Oh, and as to who won the game? Was there ever any doubt? Even though the Bombers tied it up at seven apiece and even took an 8–7 lead, the Maple Leafs alumni were 15–8 victors.