The South Shore Wild are looking to fill the house with Christmas Cheer on Friday night at Queens Place Emera Centre when they host the Avon Valley River Rats at 8:30 p.m.
This won’t be your run of the mill Friday night hockey game, either, as the Wild have a whole evening of family fun planned.
“This team is all about the community, and we want this evening to be a special one,” says team president Bruce Inglis.
The team is planning a big giveaway to one lucky fan that evening, with a grand door prize of a pair of tickets to a Halifax Mooseheads home game versus the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, plus a night’s accommodation in Halifax and a 25 dollar gas card. The grand prize is being donated by Bruce Inglis Financial Services.
That’s not the only fun to happen that night. The Wild are treating the evening as a fan appreciation night, and will be drawing for some Wild t-shirts throughout the game. Inglis Financial has also donated a large basket of deluxe chocolates for raffle purposes. The biggest news is that the club is expecting a special guest.
“The Wild is all about family fun,” says Inglis, “and I have it on pretty good authority that Santa is planning on landing his sleigh on the roof. Word is he may even bring a sack of candy canes”
Team fundraising coordinator Shelly Whynot is excited about the evening. As per the club’s tradition, there will be a donation of a dollar from each admission to a worthwhile cause. This game will benefit the Wickwire breakfast program, which needs upwards of $10,000 per year to ensure children don’t start their day with a hungry belly.
Other community organizations honored this year include Jump Start for Kids, the Liverpool Fire Department and the Priva Cheer Club. Whynot is very hopeful of a big crowd for the Christmas season
“Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the place filled to the rafters with people having fun and benefitting a worthwhile local cause? Wild hockey is all about the community, so I really hope the community can rally behind it,” she says.
The Wild started the year with a thud, losing their first six contests. Since that time, they have run up a streak of seven wins, one loss and one shootout defeat.
“We began the year with many players new to the Junior C level” says Nick Whynot, head coach. “Once the team began to gel and show discipline, it became apparent we were much better than our numbers.”
The streak has seen the club climb out of the basement and into fifth place in the circuit.
The team is led in scoring by local Captain Zach Wamboldt, who paces the team with 13 goals and 19 points. Returnee Theron Lane is second on the team with 18 points. The club welcomes the presence of forward Alex Garland, who has been playing Junior B in the valley. In just 7 games, Garland has hit the twine 8 times.
Local blueliners Jeffrey Murray and Tyler Dagley have been a steadying influence. Other big news is the signing of 18 year old defenceman Zach Foster from Johnville Newfoundland. The blueliner has played 24 games for the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks this season. Team General Manager Jason Norman beams when he talks about the acquisition
“Any time you add a player of Junior A caliber to your lineup, it’s a potential game-changer. Zach is a great compliment to our defence corps.” Whynot adds, “It really reflects on the professional work of this organization these past few years that a Junior A organization will entrust the development of players in their system to our team.”
The Wild are pleased that the game will be sponsored by the local business HGS. Employees of the call centre will be present to hand out some information, as well as to host a popular “chuck a puck” game, which is always a hit with the kids.