Dmyterko honoured at annual tournament

Anne Dmyterko (center) participates in the ceremonial puck drop to honour her late son, Kelly, along with captains from the Winnipeg Hawks and the Prince Albert DQ Chill. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

In honour of the late Kelly Dmyterko, Prince Albert Minor Hockey hosted its annual Midget AA tournament in his name over the weekend.

The hockey association also awarded an annual scholarship in Dmyterko’s name to a former Prince Albert hockey player, Dillon Zuck.

Almost 30 years ago, on Dec. 6, 1987, Kelly died in a snowmobile collision while visiting family at home; he had recently earned a roster spot with the Lloydminster Lancers, of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

Kelly played his entire minor hockey league career in Prince Albert.

The weekend tournament was the 29th annual one to honour Dmyterko.

His mother, Anne, was on hand for a ceremonial puck drop to start a Saturday evening game between the Winnipeg Hawks and the Prince Albert DQ Chill.

“It’s just pride for Kelly and the memorial for him, remembering him,” she said of the tournament.

“It’s just so good to watch all the other hockey players come in, all the other teams. There are 15 teams playing in this tournament.”

She said each year brings back memories of her late son.

“Every time you see the boys skating, you smell the sweat in the leather (gloves). Yes, for sure, it brings back lots of memories, but good memories too.”

Recalling her son’s love of hockey, she said, “If the game started at 8 o’clock in the morning, he was always here (at the Art Hauser Centre) at 6:30. He loved the game and there was no pushing him.

“Just every time he was on the ice it was great.”

Dillon Zuck (left) was awarded the Kelly Dmyterko memorial scholarship to help cover his costs as a student at the University of Saskatchewan. Evan Radford/Daily Herald

Zuck is a graduate of the Prince Albert Midget AA hockey program.

He now attends the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards business school as a second-year student.

“It’s just nice to see that my time on the team, my effort and passion that I put into the team, was seen by everyone,” he said of winning the scholarship.

“I see the guys who won it before, and I respected those guys too. Playing alongside them and all that. To be considered on their level is really great.”

Zuck is currently a member of the Saskatoon Westleys junior B hockey team.

Prince Albert and Winnipeg skated to a 2-2 draw Saturday evening.

The Calgary Blazers won the A group final on Sunday, beating Northeast 7-2; the Notre Dame Argos beat the Beardy’s Blackhawks 4-3 to capture the B group final.