Vail, Intrawest trade jabs as hockey fund-raiser nears |

Vail, Intrawest trade jabs as hockey fund-raiser nears

Daily Staff Writer

A hockey game between Vail Resorts and Intrawest Resorts headlines the Summit Foundation’s seventh annual Hockey Classic fund-raiser this weekend

By Dan Kelley

Summit County Correspondent

Copper or Breck? Keystone or Winter Park?

Competition between Vail Resorts and Intrawest Resorts has always been intense, and this weekend, it will heat up even more.

Teams from the two resort corporations will headline the Summit Foundation’s seventh annual Hockey Classic fund-raiser today and Saturday at the Stephen C. West Ice Arena in Breckenridge.

The Vail Americans and the Intrawest Canucks will face off Saturday.

Adam Aron is the Chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts and the goalie for the Americans. He offered some advice for the Canucks.

“They can save themselves a lot of embarrassment if they just forfeit right now,” he said. “They won’t have to put on all that heavy equipment, work up such a sweat, and the outcome is still going to be the same.”

Intrawest, having too much pride to submit itself to such a viscous verbal assault without defending itself, offered a response via coach David Barry, senior vice president of Intrawest Colorado.

“The answer to that would be, ‘No,'” he said. “Or, in Canada’s other official language, ‘Non.'”

Barry also responded to Aron’s netminding strategy of gaining enough weight and mass to cover the entire 4-foot by 6-foot goal.

“That’s always a fear,” Barry said. “He does have that potential to cover that goal entirely. His challenge will be to be light on his feet, not just big on his feet, so we’re looking forward to that and looking forward to a good game.”

The Americans will be joined by hockey stars John Wensink, Sasha Lakovic and Ryan Stewart. Wensink was a feared fighter for the Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues. Lakovic played for the Calgary Flames and New Jersey Devils and also plays the Russian team captain in the Disney movie “Miracle,” chronicling the amazing success of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Stewart played for the Winnipeg Jets and also played professionally in Europe and North America for 13 years.

The Canucks will be joined by ringers Don Mercier, Doug Smail, and Rick Boh. Mercier played for the University of Denver and then in the AHL and IHL from 1987-89. Smail played 13 years in the NHL and has been a hockey instructor for 15. Boh is a former Canadian national team member and played in the European Elite League for four years.

The Hockey Classic will also feature a Battle of the Badges, with teams consisting of members of local law enforcement organizations (“The Enforcers”) taking on members of fire fighting outfits (“The Flames”). Each team will be joined by several celebrity players as well.

To date, the Classic has raised nearly $185,000 for the Summit Foundation.

“What this game is really about is raising money for the Summit Foundation,” Aron said. “No matter which team wins, everybody in Summit County is a winner that we’re able to raise some real money for the Summit Foundation, which does so many good things all year long.”

Dan Kelley can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at

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