It’s all about hockey this weekend in Lacombe.
Hundreds filled the downtown for Rogers Hometown Hockey Saturday afternoon. People could get their picture taken with the Stanley Cup, enjoy live entertainment and get autographs from former NHL stars.
Former Toronto Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker was one of those NHL stars.
Born and raised in Endiang, east of Red Deer, Tucker said he knows first-hand how passionate Central Albertans are about hockey.
“To be a part of (Hometown Hockey) this close to home is special for me,” said Tucker. “The love of the game of hockey is something I want to to give back to the communities I was a part of as a kid.”
When Tucker was younger he played minor hockey in Red Deer. He was also on Team Canada in the 1995 World Juniors in Red Deer.
Tucker, who had five 20-goal seasons in the NHL, said the best part about the sport, especially at a young age, is creating friendships.
“I don’t necessarily remember the wins and losses. I remember the practices, car rides to the games and going for a burger or ice cream after with my buddies,” he said.
Tucker said he’s learned a lot from the game.
“Hockey taught me a lot about who I was as a person, who I want to become as a father and who I was to become as a human being,” he said.
Lacombe’s Jordan Schur, a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, was excited to see Rogers Hometown Hockey in his community.
“You always see it on TV and it’s just so great to see it in person,” said Schur. “It’s cool to see Ron MacLean and the Stanley Cup right there.”
Schur and his wife Samantha said getting their picture taken with the Stanley Cup is something to cross off the bucket list.
Bowen Tenhove, a Calgary Flames fan, came to the event with his wife and two young children. The community is embracing Rogers Hometown Hockey, he said.
“Everyone’s having so much fun out here – us included. It’s really neat to have a national thing like this come right into our small town. We’re loving it,” said Tenhove.
Paul Pearson, Lacombe Minor Hockey president, said all the young hockey fans were having the time of their lives.
“All the little kids are freezing, but they’re loving it. That’s what hockey’s all about; having fun with your friends.
“They have a really good setup, we’ve been fortunate enough to get a tour of the behind the scenes area and stuff like that,” said Pearson.
Scotiabank donated $15,000 to Lacombe Minor Hockey Saturday.
“Any funds we have can help us keep our costs down which means more kids can come play,” he said.