© Austin M. Davis
Cpl. Taylor Mickleborough, president of the Moose Jaw Police Association, stands at the Wakamow skating oval, the future home of the Copper Cup three-on-three pond hockey tournament.
A prairie city without an annual pond hockey tournament is hardly a city at all.
The Moose Jaw Police Association (MJPA) is going to fill that void in the Friendly City with the first annual Copper Cup on Feb. 15 and 16.
“As far as we know, this is the first one in Saskatchewan, and definitely in Moose Jaw,” said Cpl. Taylor Mickleborough, president of the MJPA.
“We thought it was a cool way to get out and enjoy the winter.”
Instead of a pond, the three-on-three tournament will be held on the Wakamow skating oval, Moose Jaw’s smoothest outdoor ice where hockey sticks aren’t allowed.
“The city has been awesome. They’re allowing us to use the oval. We’ve worked with them, Wakamow Valley Authority and the Kiwanis Speed Skating Club,” Mickleborough said. “Everyone’s been really supportive of the idea.”
As excited as Mickleborough and other police officers are about the tournament, no police teams have signed up yet.
“There’ll be a couple of police teams, I think, but we’re really hoping to fill the list from other areas of the community,” he said.
Teams are allowed to have a maximum of five players, all of who must be 18 or older.
Mickleborough said liability issues prevented teenagers from being able to play this year, but next year might be different.
“It’s going to be something we look at in the future, because the idea of this is to be a family event. It’s to be a festival,” Mickleborough said.
Each team will play at least four games. Registration is $300 per team.
Games will consist of two 15-minute consecutive halves.
“We’re even going to get a cup and the winner’s names will go on at the end,” Mickleborough said. “We’re hoping to host this every year.”
The idea for the first annual Copper Cup came while members of the MJPA was branstorming fundraising ideas. The association has a charity committee and a charity fund.
“Every dollar that we raise from the hockey tournament is going to go back in to the community through various initiatives or projects,” Mickleborough said.
The headlining project the MJPA has been working on is the bike skills park in the lot just west of the YaraCentre. But, Mickleborough said, the association is always looking at other ways to benefit the kids and citizens of Moose Jaw.
“We constantly are giving back to the community, whether it’s scholarships for schools, donating money to sporting events for children, donating to people in need in the community, we’re always looking for new initiatives,” Mickleborough said.
He said the MJPA is in preliminary talks with the City of Moose Jaw to construct a playground.
During the two-day Copper Cup tournament, there will be raffles and a silent auction.
“We have an awesome donation already from Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks who donated a signed jersey,” Mickleborough said.
The prizes will add to the excitement during the two-day event. But even though it’s a hockey tournament, Mickleborough said it’ll feel like a festival. The Kiwanis River Park Pavilion and Lodge are booked, and a fire will be lit. Those not on skates can go inside and warm up.
Follow Austin on Twitter @theaustinx.