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Return of the Red Wings

Staff Reports

Dobson Ice Arena has developed a long tradition of associations with the NHL, but perhaps none is so strong as Dobson’s 12-year friendship with the Detroit Red Wings Alumni team.An annual fundraiser and valley tradition comes to town again as the Vail Mountaineers men’s team squares off for two nights of high-level hockey with the Red Wings Alumni Friday and Saturday, March 7-8 at 7 p.m. at Dobson Arena.”These kinds of events are absolutely special,” says event director Andy Clark. “The chance to see Hall of Fame hockey players and NHL greats this is a once in a childhood thing, and the kids around here get it once a year.”Together with Gary Defina and Glen Heelan, and sponsored by Adam Aron and George Gillett, the event will bring legendary Red Wings players like Hall of Famer Alex Delvecchio, Canadian Olympic star and Red Wings great Gary Bergman, and five-time All-Star John Ogrodnick to Vail’s home ice.Clark says the Red Wings alumni uses the Vail matchup as the pinnacle to their fundraising year. If alumni players participate in all 24 of their Detroit-based fundraisers, they qualify to be part of the trip to Vail for a weekend of skiing and hockey.”They’ve got three (former) No. 1 draft picks on their team this year,” says Clark. “I think Friday night it’ll be close, and then we’ll see how we can ski them into the ground Saturday. If we can win Friday night, we know we’ve got a chance to sweep.”Clark is also hoping that one of the games played next year can be held at the new Eagle ice arena on Brush Creek Road as part of his push to grow the hockey culture in Eagle.The alumni game has raised over $60,000 for local youth charities over the years, and this year’s funds will go to the Family Learning Center, Vail Junior Hockey Association and WECMRD youth hockey. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids and a family pass is available for two adults and two kids for $20.Tickets can be purchased at Funke Skate and Hockey Supply in Riverwalk in Edwards, Venture Sports in Avon, Dobson Arena, or from any Vail or WECMRD youth hockey player.For information, call Dobson Ice Arena at (970) 479-2271 or surf to http://www.vailrec.com. q


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