Vail Yeti returning to Dobson for one last game on Saturday, featuring former Colorado Avalanche members
While the Vail Yeti hockey team has already completed its regular season, the players will return to the ice for one more game on Saturday in an effort to raise money for U.S. military veterans and youth hockey in Colorado.
The game will be against the Colorado Warriors and will begin at 7 p.m., a slightly earlier start time than the Yeti played during the regular season. That earlier start time was decided upon in an effort to attract more families with small children who often have to leave early when the kids start falling asleep during the third period.
Saturday’s matchup will charge a $5 fee for children, as all the proceeds from the game will go to Vail Mountaineers Youth Hockey Program and the Colorado Warriors, a donation-funded organization which aims to provide those who served in the military with opportunities for camaraderie and fellowship through the game of hockey.
The Colorado Avalanche Alumni Association helps coach the Colorado Warriors, and on Saturday, former Colorado Avalanche players John-Michael Liles and Kyle Quincey will take to the ice against the Vail Yeti.
“It’s a celebration of the end of the year for us, and a chance for our guys to get together on the rink again, but in a different vein this time, with the goal being to raise money for a different group,” said Vail Yeti owner Kyle Forte.
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Forte said between the former pros on the ice, and the Yeti coming off a strong season, fans should be treated to a high level of hockey at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail on Saturday.
“I imagine it will be a high-scoring game, with a good showcase of skills,” he said.
In another twist which isn’t a part of a normal Yeti matchup, there will be a silent auction taking place throughout the game, with Vail Yeti jerseys, Colorado Avalanche-related items, USA Hockey items and more.
Aside from that, however, the match will resemble a regular Yeti game, with the popular chuck-a-puck taking place during the break between the second and third period, in which 400 pucks are sold and then hurled onto the ice by fans.
Forte is a new owner, acquiring the Yeti in October, and said in taking over the Yeti team, raising money for charity organizations was one of his goals. Throughout the season, events like the chuck-a-puck helped raise thousands for local nonprofits. And on Saturday, 100% of the proceeds will go toward the Colorado Warriors and the Vail Mountaineers Youth Hockey Program.
Forte said he was pleased with the team in his first year as owner, not only for the Vail Yeti’s impressive record at home (15-3-1), but for the team’s ability to connect with the community, raise money for local nonprofits and pack the stands at Dobson each week.
Forte said the Yeti was fortunate to have the full support of some of the strongest local organizations you’ll find in the community, including the town of Vail, the Steadman Clinic, and Howard Head sports medicine.
At Saturday’s final game, “we’ll have our full roster there,” Forte said. “It should be a wide open, skilled hockey game.”