Steamboat Springs It might be March Madness for hoops, but here in Steamboat Springs, it’s also a big month for hockey.
For the second straight year, Howelsen Ice Arena will host the Steamboat NHL Alumni Classic March 27 and 28 — a benefit for Steamboat Springs youth hockey highlighted by an exhibition game between NHL greats from the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks.
Vote for Steamboat in Kraft Hockeyville Contest (www.krafthockeyvi...) to award the town $150,000 in ice arena improvements and NHL preseason game.
The event will be followed with an exclusive benefit and silent auction featuring Todd Mohr of Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Strings Music Pavilion, which will also serve as a fundraiser for Steamboat Springs youth hockey.
“Last year’s event was a huge success, and everyone’s really looking forward to coming back,” co-organizer Kerry Shea said. “And this year, we’ll have even more NHL stars, as well as an amazing musical performance and silent auction, including one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia and VIP experience packages, to help raise funds for the program.”
Roster notables hitting the ice include Joe Kocur, Jiri Fischer, Dennis Hextall, Petr Klima and Eddie Mio of the Red Wings, and Jack O'Callahan, Reid Simpson, Peter Marsh, Phil Russell, Brian Noonan and Wayne Presley of the Blackhawks. All are more than willing to make a return visit to Ski Town USA.
“Last year’s event was great, with super hospitality,” said Presley, whose 14-year NHL career included stints with the Blackhawks, Sabres, Rangers and Maple Leafs. “We’re all definitely looking forward to this year's game and visiting Steamboat again.”
The weekend kick offs Friday, March 27, with a sled hockey exhibition by the Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey team versus the NHL Alumni. It will also include a meet and greet, with picture and autograph session.
On Saturday, March 28, alumni from the Red Wings battle Blackhawks alumni in an exhibition game at Howelsen, complete with full food and beverage concessions to raise additional funds for Steamboat Springs youth hockey. Afterward, the action shifts from hockey to music at the Strings Music Pavilion for a special 7:30 p.m. show by Mohr, again with all proceeds benefitting the town’s youth hockey players.
“It’s shaping up to be the biggest and best fundraiser of the year for Steamboat Springs youth hockey,” event co-organizer Chris Campanelli said. “Plus it’s some of the best hockey you’ll ever see in Steamboat.”
Tickets for all events can be purchased at http://tickets.stringsmusicfestival.com. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/steamboatnhlalumniclassic.