Hockey remains a big deal in Alpena and one of the most exciting events for area hockey fans is the Detroit Red Wings Alumni Association game against the Alpena Flyers alumni team.
This LaFarge-funded game takes place on Saturday, February 15th at 5:30 p.m at Northern Lights Arena.
"We've had the Red Wing alumni here over the last years few years, maybe four or five years," Thunder Bay Wrecks Squirt coach Phil Agius said. "I was on the Wings over Alpena committee and we did for that as a fundraiser."
The Red Wings alumni did not come to Alpena last year. This year is the first year that ticket sales will benefit the Thunder Bay Wrecks hockey program.
Former Red Wings players will play against former Alpena players in a game that gives area fans the chance to meet some legendary players and help raise a little money.
This year's Red Wings roster includes: Ed Mio, Gregg Malicke, Joe Kocur, Darren McCarty, Jason Woolley, John Ogrodnick, Brent Fedyk, Petr Klima, Wayne Presley, Kip Miller, Dean Kolstad, Lorne Knauft, Sergei Kharin and son Anton Kharin. The Red Wings alumni team will also feature two Alpena players: Griffin Saddler and Ryan Schultz.
What: Hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings alumni team and the Alpena Flyers.
When: Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Northern Lights Arena
Cost: Tickets can be purchased at Frank's Key and Lock and are $11 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under; Game day prices are $13 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under
Alpena alumni players for this year's game include: Mike Richey, Jeremy Winterstein, Mark Kelly, Eric Saddler, Andrew Agius, Eric Peterson, Alex Benson, Ian Steinke, Jeremy Tulgetska, Phil Tulgetska, Matt Britton, Aaron Kwaitkowski, Russ Anderson, John Grzewkowiak and goalies Shawn Shankie and Trevor McConnell.
Every year's alumni game features a wide variety of activities before and during the game that are fun for the family and kids of all ages. This year's activities include a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, the Chuck-a-Puck contest and a sale on Red Wings alumni memorabilia such as jerseys.
The silent auction will feature a wide variety of items from the Alpena alumni team. All proceeds from the auction go directly to the Wrecks and 50/50 raffle proceeds go to the Alpena Boosters.
Alpena youth teams will also get the chance to show off their stuff on the ice between periods.
One of the biggest draws for the alumni game this year will undoubtedly be the chance to win a rare piece of Red Wings history.
Attendees have the chance to in one of only 200 lithographs from the New Years Day Red Wings alumni showdown. Each lithograph features autographed pictures of each participant.
"These lithographs are mostly available to Joe Louis Arena ticket holders and Red Wings players. They cost about $5,000 each," Agius said.
Twenty lithographs will be raffled off with all proceeds benefiting the Detroit Red Wing Alumni Association. Tickets are $20 and limited to 250. Tickets will be available during the weekend's Red Wings alumni games in Alpena, Cheboygan and St. Ignace.
Red Wings fans also have the chance to get a book singed by Darren McCarty. McCarty's book, "My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star" was released last December and features candid and emotional explorations of the high and low points of his life.
Tickets to the alumni game are available at Franks Key and Lock Shop, the Northern Lights Arena and online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/555010. Tickets for adults are $11 in advance or $13 at the door. Tickets for children under 12 are $6 in advance or $8 at the door.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.