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Beechy, Sask., moves ahead with fundraiser after Montreal Canadiens alumni game cancelled

Former Montreal Canadien and Swift Current native Travis Moen will be one of the ex-NHLers attending the fundraiser in Beechy, Sask. on Friday.
Former Montreal Canadien and Swift Current native Travis Moen will be one of the ex-NHLers attending the fundraiser in Beechy, Sask. on Friday. Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press

Down, but not out.

That is the mentality in Beechy, Sask., after learning the Montreal Canadiens alumni game, scheduled for Friday night, was not going to happen.

“We decided the show must go on. A number of us have been on the phone since 6 p.m. last night trying to get contacts that could put us in touch with some ex-NHL players,” said Justin Dubasov, Beechy rink special events committee chair.

The Canadiens alumni team was supposed to visit four Saskatchewan locations but was forced to withdraw due to bad weather conditions in Eastern Canada.

“Obviously there’s a little bit of disappointment involved, but when weather plays a factor in travel and the reason for them not being able to come out here — you really can’t be too upset,” Dubasov said.

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“We’ve been planning this for the last eight to 10 months and at near capacity as far as ticket sales go. Everybody was expecting a fairly big event for our little community of 250 people.”

So instead of giving up, committee members sprang into action, reaching out to as many people as possible trying to find former NHLers willing to lace up.

The response was overwhelming. So far, nine former NHL players committed to playing.

Notable names include Travis Moen, who was originally on the Canadiens alumni team, Todd Warriner and Mason Raymond.

“We’ve had great support. I cannot stress that enough, how wonderful the support has been just from our community alone. Everybody has been really understanding on the little hiccup,” said Natalie Braun, Beechy rink special events committee member.

“And to the players that are willing to come and help us make this event a success … we’ve all come together and it’s actually been pretty amazing.”

Game festivities include a silent and live auction to help fundraise money for the community’s hockey rink, built in 1967.

Plans for the Beechy AGT Civic Centre focus on wheelchair accessibility and more space to their dressing rooms.

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The Canadiens alumni games were scheduled for Saskatoon on Thursday, Wynyard on Saturday and Regina on Sunday before being cancelled.

Click to play video: 'Montreal Canadiens alumni attend Moncton weekend fundraiser'
Montreal Canadiens alumni attend Moncton weekend fundraiser

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