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City team ready for on-ice battle in Mayor’s Community Hockey Challenge

​Mayor Blaine Hyggen issued a challenge to help out local food banks and the community responded. This weekend, the stage is set to welcome the titans of the Lethbridge community as they prepare to battle against City staff in a hockey game for a good cause.

The Mayor's Community Hockey Challenge is set to take place on Saturday, December 18 at 11 a.m. at the ATB Centre's east/blue arena. The game will benefit the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen, the Interfaith Food Bank, the Lethbridge Food Bank, the University of Lethbridge Students' Union Food Bank and the Lethbridge College Students' Association Food Bank.

Entry requirements to the ATB Centre will fall under the Alberta Health Services Restrictions Exemption Program. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to bring donations of non-perishable food, while monetary donations will be accepted via this online donation platform.

"We are excited and ready to go," says Mayor Hyggen, who will be the goalie for the City of Lethbridge team. "We have had a great response from our City staff and our community partners in forming the team rosters and we hope people come out this weekend to support some great and worthy charity recipients."

The game will feature a team of Community Partners, including Lethbridge Hurricanes alumni goaltender Logan Koopmans, and Exhibition Park's Mike Wuchterl, who is a 2007 Memorial Cup champion, taking on a City of Lethbridge roster with players and coaches from across a variety of departments. Full equipment is required, but this will be a fun-themed, non-contact, full three-period game.

City Councillor Mark Campbell and Susan Gouw with the City of Lethbridge will be the guest referees, while CJOC morning show host Jordan Karst will be the in-game host and Liam Nixon, newsroom manager for Global Lethbridge, will handle public address announcing.

Intermission entertainment is being organized by the Lethbridge Sport Council and will feature a Lethbridge Minor Hockey Timbits game, a AHS-Lethbridge Community Therapeutic Recreation sledge hockey demonstration, a Lethbridge Speed Skating Association demonstration, a Lethbridge Ringette Association shootout against Mayor Hyggen, a Lethbridge Skating Club soloist and a Southern Alberta Skating Academy group routine.

There will also be a Lethbridge Curling Club Rocks and Rings demonstration in the hallway and several members of the Lethbridge and Area Recreation Hockey Association for general bench support.

"We are pleased that eight of our local ice sport member organizations are participating in this great event to help support Christmas charity efforts," says Susan Eymann with Lethbridge Sport Council. "We have some great entertainment planned for the intermissions. This is such a fun way to give back to our community, which is such a great supporter of sport and recreation."

The Mayor's Community Hockey Challenge will begin at with player warmups at 11 a.m., followed at 11:10 a.m. with an opening ceremony, featuring player introductions as well as Canada, Alberta and Blackfoot Confederacy flags skated out during the singing of the national anthem in Blackfoot, French and English by local performer Tsuaki Marule.

Puck drop is set for 11:20 a.m.