Battle of the Badges in Hope this weekend

Local RCMP members and firefighters are facing off at Hope Arena on Feb. 21

George Johnston (left) and Const. Francois Lewis are gearing up for this Saturday’s Battle of the Badges match at Hope Arena. The annual hockey games raises money for Cops for Cancer. Tickets are $10 for adults

George Johnston (left) and Const. Francois Lewis are gearing up for this Saturday’s Battle of the Badges match at Hope Arena. The annual hockey games raises money for Cops for Cancer. Tickets are $10 for adults

This is year nine of the Battle of the Badges in Hope — and with four wins each for the RCMP and the firefighters, someone is going to gain the upper hand this Saturday at 3:15 p.m.

The annual hockey games raises money for the Cops for Cancer fund, which works in conjunction with the Canadian Cancer Society. The game is held in memory of Tyler Wells, a Hope teen who died of cancer in 2007.

Const. Francois Lewis of the Boston Bar detachment seemed confident on Monday that the guys with the guns will come back and extinguish the hose-handlers, after two closely-contested losses.

“We tried to pick officers who are fit,” said Lewis. “The firemen have beaten us the last two years, so we need an edge. From what we’ve seen, their gym memberships must have run out — or the Rolling Pin bakery had a sale on fritters.

“Our team is made up of local Hope RCMP members, as well as members from neighbouring detachments and support units,” said Lewis, who worked in Hope for five and half years before moving to Boston Bar. His lineage in the sport dates back to Chilliwack Minor Hockey and pond hockey back in Montreal.

“All of our players are police officers, mostly RCMP, with two coming from the Abbotsford Police Department, who have played in past years.”

George Johnston, a volunteer with the Hope fire department, brushed off Lewis’s comment about his team’s fitness.

“We in the fire department are superbly conditioned athletes. We’re usually outnumbered by the RCMP, so we have to stay in prime physical condition.”

Most of the firefighters will be local members, including one from the Sunshine Valley fire department. A fire chief from West Vancouver will be in the net and Aaron Saito, a Hope Secondary grad of 1989, is coming back home to play — and bringing three fellow Richmond firefighters with him.

“I’m bringing two ex-juniors,” said Saito. “One guy is named Scott Dineen. His uncle is Kevin Dineen (who played in the NHL for almost two decades.) The other guy is Shane Bennett, who played with Coquitlam. Then there’s myself and Aaron VanIpren… we’re both plumbers.

“And you can tell those police officers we eat lots of bacon,” added Saito, jabbing back at Lewis.

Yahna Neufeld (Bergen) will be singing the national anthem and Tyler Wells’ grandmother, Roberta, will drop the ceremonial puck before the game, which includes three periods of 20-minute stop time. Raffles and 50/50 draws will be held during the intermissions, said Johnston.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students — or $20 for a family of four. No charge for children five years old or younger. Tickets are available at the RCMP station, 6th Avenue Sports, Lordco, Romano’s and from the players. They are also available at the arena on game day.


• • • •


In other hockey news, Hope’s bantam C-1 Wildcats won their third tournament of the year. The high-flying squad traveled to Kamloops last weekend for the 12-team Bantam Ice Battle tournament at the MacArthur Island sports complex.

They were second after the round robin, with two wins and a tie, and then had convincing wins in the semi-final and final, to bring home their third trophy this year.

Monday night, the Wildcats pulled into top spot in the playoffs with a win over Chilliwack.

Just Posted

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Most Read