The Michael Gerl CanPlay Hockey Classic returns this Sunday following a three-year, COVID-induced hiatus.
Operating just outside of Winnipeg’s West Perimeter Highway at the Scotiabank Hockey for All Centre (formerly the Bell MTS Iceplex) Sunday’s event features four competitive games from 11:30 AM to 9:00 PM. The tale of the tape will see three games between Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League teams as well as a battle between the U-18 AAA Manitoba Female Hockey League.
Although not officially at the Hockey for All Centre, three other games are also included in the overall CanPlay Hockey Classic umbrella this year, including Thursday and Friday’s U-15 AA matchups between the Saints and Titans, and the Vics and Predators, well as Sunday morning’s showdown between the Twins and Rangers (10:30 AM, Richmond Kings Community Centre).
With the attention on female hockey within the province of Manitoba, the return of Gerl’s event will see roughly 275 young women participate in high-level hockey while lobbying to raise funds, recognition and support of Manitoba’s Rehabilitation Centre for Children.
The CanPlay Hockey Classic is back on February 5th!
Find out how you can donate and support today at https://t.co/8jA7170E6x pic.twitter.com/oLMuGE89Tf
— Children's Rehab Fdn (@childrensrehab) January 24, 2023
“I am so excited CanPlay is back in action this year,” event organizer Michael Gerl said. “It’s been a long wait and enthusiasm is high for some great hockey in support of this vital cause.”
A former client of the Rehabilitation Centre for Children, Gerl began CanPlay 10 years back as a way of helping the cause that gave him so much in his youth. He has been able to excel in life, despite some of his physical setbacks. He operates as the lead play-by-play voice of the MWJHL and the MFHL via GameTime TV. His work can be found on Twitter at @mikegerl.
“Michael is an incredible person with a passion for female hockey and a dedication to giving back to the Foundation which helped him earlier in his life,” said Jane Kidd-Hantscher, Executive Director of Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation. “Working with him on the CanPlay Classic this year has been rewarding. I hope participants and supporters can see what a difference he’s making in young lives and are inspired by his actions.”
Team members are encouraged to register and donate to the cause in a fundraising effort. Operating as a pledge-driven event, the funds raised by players and their supporters will go towards children and youth living with disabilities and their pursuit of involvement in their favourite sports. This will come in the form of specialized recreation equipment, helping ensure that children and youth from all walks of life are able to play.
Very exciting event happening tomorrow at the @hockeyforallctr. The whole league will be playing tomorrow with all proceeds from the admission table going to the children’s rehabilitation foundation. First game at 11:30 am and then a double header to close the event at 5pm. pic.twitter.com/L1GFfJdLGB
— MWJHL Hockey (@mwjhlhky) February 4, 2023
“The Michael Gerl CanPlay Classic is tremendously important to fulfilling the recreation and sports dreams of youth living with disabilities,” Kidd-Hantscher added. “Coming out to support the Classic in-person or donating online now will help the Foundation fund requests for specialized equipment. The need is great and community support means a great deal.”
Those in attendance at the Hockey for All Centre on Sunday can purchase raffle tickets for prizes including both Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks signed jerseys, a gift card bundle, a Tim Hortons coffee machine, a JBL waterproof bluetooth speaker, a Lazy River tubing package from Winnipeg Canoe Rentals and more.
- Thursday, February 2 at 6:15pm, Notre Dame Arena – U15AA Female League Saints vs. Titans
- Friday, February 3 at 6:15pm, St. Vital Arena – U15AA Female League Vics vs. Predators
- Sunday, February 5 at 10:30am, Richmond Kings Community Centre – U15AA Female League Twins vs. Rangers
- 11:30am, Hockey for All Centre – MWJHL Northern Stars vs. Prairie Blaze
- 2:00pm, Hockey for All Centre – MFHLU18AAA Winnipeg Avros vs. Winnipeg Ice
- 5:00pm, Hockey for All Centre – MWJHL Manitoba Blizzard vs. Silvertips
- 7:10pm, Hockey for All Centre – MWJHL Gray Owls vs. Western Predators
*For every $100 in donations you collect on/through the CanPlay fundraising site, your name will be entered into draws for a $50 Starbucks gift card and a $100 Polo Park gift card.
**For every $200 in donations you collect on/through the CanPlay fundraising site, your name will be entered into a draw for an autographed Winnipeg Jets jersey.
Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation is looking forward to a fun event in which our participants can feel safe. Cashless payment options will be available.
Please stay home if you feel unwell. If you must stay home, you can watch CanPlay Hockey Classic games on Gametime TV, and a percentage of proceeds will be donated to Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.
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