Mounties seeking on-ice redemption
Second Auxiliary Cup hockey game slated for March 2 in Bay Roberts
Const. John Clarke was getting so many chirps he had to go out and purchase a new hockey helmet.
Clarke is a member of the Trinity Conception District RCMP, and serves as the community policing and drug awareness officer.
He started receiving the goodnatured ribbing shortly after being photographed wearing an eggshaped helmet while participating in the 1st Auxiliary Cup hockey game last March at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts.
The game, featuring a hybrid team comprised of RCMP officers and community “personalities,” battlied the Ascension Astros boys’ hockey team. The event raised more than $2,000 for local charities.
So, in advance of this year’s game, Clarke wanted to avoid the teasing, and bought himself a more voguish lid.
“Although,” he added quickly, “I think I scored the first goal last year. I fell on my face, but I scored.”
This year’s game, in conjunction with the Bay Roberts Special Events Committee and the Recreation Committee, is tentatively scheduled for the final day of the Bay Roberts Winter Carnival, on March 2.
Proceeds from the game will go to the Coley’s Point Primary breakfast program and the Salvation Army.
Ian Flynn, the director of recreation and sport in Bay Roberts, said the more than 600 people who jammed the Bay Arena for last year’s contest was something to behold.
Flynn is hoping this year’s event will happen on an even larger scale.
“We’d be tickled pink to get 600 people in the stadium, and more would be great,” he said. “Seeing the success that it had, we wanted to carry it over and keep the momentum going for this year.”
This year’s event will again feature a squirt division game during the first intermission and a shootout during the second.
Bringing two entities like the town and the RCMP together, coupled with the high school, accomplishes more than just raising money. It also helps shed stereotypes. “It helps us, and that perception that the RCMP are the bad guys and they only come when bad things happen. That’s not the case. Most of us live here in Bay Roberts or surrounding areas,” said Clarke. Flynn had similar thoughts. “It sounds small to have an event like this, but it puts faces to names and that type of thing,” he said. “
Excitement for this year’s incarnation of the game started generating once the final buzzer of the first one sounded.
That sort of excitement let Flynn and Clarke know that the event had been a success.
“If you have one person asking you about the next one, it has been a success,” said Flynn.
He has been looking at different ways to get the word out for the event this year, with some options being Facebook and Twitter.
“Social media is always a huge aspect in terms of promoting this. Questions have been asked on Facebook like when is it starting and whose playing, that type of thing,” said Flynn. “
The event is put off with the help of the Trinity-Conception Crime Prevention Committee.
The committee is comprised of five people who look after the putting off of events like the hockey game.
Having an event such as the game in the community gets the word out there about the work this committee is doing. It could entice a member of the community to become curious and want to join.
“That’s something we are looking at as well,” said Clarke. “Right now, we are trying to bolster that committee.”
Aside from questions like “When is the game?” and “Who is going to play for the RCMP?” the biggest question is, “Are they looking for revenge?”
“You bet we’re l ooking for revenge,” said Clarke.