The ninth annual Christmas Classic was another success as Team Price defeated Team Gienger and more importantly, over $1,000 was raised for the IRIS Project (Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors).
Over 300 people came out to not really watch Team Price take on Team Gienger, but more to have a couple pints and catch up with old friends.
Team Price jumped out quick to a 3-1 lead, backed by some key saves by Jeremy Chernoff and an absolute highlight reel goal from Topher Plonka. As the clock reached the halfway point of the game, Jordan Barlow set up Jake Davidoff to put Team Price up 4-2.
The Zamboni cleaned the ice, Castlegar Realty put on the Shoot to Win $5,000 and the players then jumped on the ice for the second half.
After the break Team Price extended the lead to 5-2, before Team Gienger struck back twice with goals by Brent Heaven and Jonas Horvath to cut the lead to 5-4.
After Stu Walton scored on a beauty to make it 6-4, former classic MVP George Vassilakakis struck back a minute later to make it 6-5. With Dylan Cates making some huge saves and the momentum starting to tilt in Team Gienger’s way, Topher Plonka scored another clutch goal for Team Price to extend the lead to 7-5 with only two minutes left to play.
Moments later, Jordan O’Hara scored on an end-to-end rush to make it 8-5 with a minute left. The boys could celebrate as Team Price takes down another nailbiter this year.
Topher Plonka was awarded MVP, Dylan Cates was second star and Jeremy Chernoff was third star.
These guys may have won the stars of the game, but the real star of the night was IRIS founder Sandi McCreight as the event raised over $1,000.
“Christmas Classic Hockey game was a blast,” said McCreight. “What a great crew on and off the ice. [All involved] have created an amazing free event for our community.”
“Greatly appreciate bringing IRIS on board and we look forward to continuing,” added McCreight. “Thank you Tyler and Castlegar Realty, Jo-Anne Bursey, Century 21 and Tony from the Rebels crew.
“Another amazing year for the classic, just the number of people that come together to make this happen is incredible,” Classic founder and organizer Bergen Price said.
Price said he is extremely thankful for all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who made the event a success.