Summit Hockey Classic and its visiting celebrity players return for 22nd annual fundraiser
22nd Annual Summit Hockey Classic
Stephen C. West Ice Arena, Breckenridge
4 p.m. Third-place game
6 p.m. Celebrity shootout
6:30 p.m. Championship game
Summit Hockey’s biggest annual fundraiser returns this weekend to Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge with many familiar local faces as well as visiting celebrities, all leading up to Saturday evening’s celebrity shootout and championship game.
Each year, the Summit Hockey Classic divides local skaters and visiting celebrities, including some former National Hockey League professionals, onto four different teams: Breckenridge Grand Vacations, Vail-Summit Orthopaedics, Copper Mountain and Beaver Run. Captains associated with each of the four organizations drafted sides last month, and play began Friday evening with the semifinal round.
Friday evening’s semifinal results were not available at press time.
Chris Miller, the director of Summit Youth Hockey, said the annual event, which is in its 22nd year, goes a long way to funding Summit Youth Hockey’s scholarships — as much as 20 percent of the organization’s annual fundraising efforts.
“Ice costs over $210 an hour, and if you multiply that through a whole season, that’s a lot of money,” Miller said after Thursday’s free skate at Stephen C. West Ice Arena in advance of the event. “Our goal is to make hockey accessible for everybody.”
Miller will be skating for VSO again this year. He said the best part of the classic is always the same thing: being around hockey lifers and chatting the game.
“The stories the pros tell us, and, just being in a room with a bunch of people in the community and feeling like you are part of a team for the weekend,” Miller said. “Seeing how our community comes together and supports our little association. And this place is filled. You get to feel like a superstar for a couple of days.”
Miller said one of the pros playing for the first time this year is Ben Scrivens who played in the NHL from 2011 to 2016 with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers. This weekend, Scrivens, though, will play out of the goal on the ice.
One of the pros in goal will be Marty Wakelyn, a former member of the NHL’s New York Islanders. After 15 years, this will be Wakelyn’s final Summit Hockey Classic and, this weekend, he will have the chance to play against his son Dougie. Dougie, like Marty, will also play as a goaltender this weekend, as Dougie played goalie for the Breckenridge Bolts last year.
As part of this weekend’s festivities, Miller said during Saturday’s championship game Summit Hockey will honor one of their youth players, Taylor Ash. Ash, a junior at Summit High School and a member of Summit Hockey’s U-19 girls team, hasn’t been able to play this season due to a diagnosis of the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma.
“It’s been a real bummer that she hasn’t played this year and it’s really affected the association,” Miller said. “So we just wanted to do whatever we could to help.”
Other celebrity players this year include former Colorado Avalanche, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals player Rick Berry; former Minnesota North Star Rick Boh; Darryl Bootland; Brian Canady; Nate Davis; Taylor Hustead; Nick Larson; former Colorado Avalanche player Aaron MacKenzie; former St. Louis Blue Peter Sejna; former Blues, Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Avalanche and Islanders player Pierre Turgeon; and former Columbus Blue Jacket Duvie Westcott.
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