As the Prince Albert Northern Bears decided who they wanted to raise money for this season, it was an easy decision.
The Saskatchewan Female AAA Hockey League team will be paying tribute to the Humboldt Broncos with special “We Play for Them” themed uniforms on Friday and Saturday night, as they’ll welcome the Regina Rebels to town for a pair of 7:30 p.m. games.
Those jerseys, which will also be worn for the first home game of the playoffs, will be auctioned off following that contest and the proceeds will go to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Mental Assistance Fund.
“It’s a real honour for us to be able to pay tribute to the Broncos like this and honour everyone with last year’s team,” Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said.
“Every year the girls’ look for a different cause to help out and it ended up working out for us to help raise money for the SJHL’s assistance fund. It was just a matter of getting everything lined up with the Broncos and it all worked out for all of the parties involved.”
This weekend’s games are also the final two of the regular season for the 16-8-2 Bears, who are currently on a five-game win streak and sit in third spot in the league standings.
They are three points back of the 16-6-3 Rebels, who have a game in hand, and hold a three-point cushion over the 13-11-2 Swift Current Wildcats.
The Wildcats wrap up their season at home this weekend against the 1-24-1 Weyburn Gold Wings, while the Rebels host the Notre Dame Hounds next Wednesday in the final game of the regular season.
“If you’re a fan of stats and numbers, this is going to be a pretty exciting weekend,” Willoughby said. “Everyone’s going to be fighting for every point that they can get, as it could mean the difference between playing at home to start the playoffs or getting on a bus.
“We like how we’re playing coming into the playoffs. We’ve played well over the last couple of weeks and we hope that it continues this weekend against Regina.”
The two sides last squared off at the Co-Operators Centre on Oct. 27 and 28, as the Rebels came away with 5-1 and 4-3 wins respectively.
“I think both teams are pretty similar with how they play and I think you’ll see that in these two games this weekend,” Willoughby said.
“It all comes down to who wins the battles.”
The SFMAAAHL playoffs will begin on March 7, as players from around the league will be playing for Saskatchewan at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. starting next weekend.