AHL’s Outdoor Classic to benefit minor hockey, blind programs

Bulldogs’ captain Alex Henry with Skate with Bulldogs participants.

The American Hockey League’s Outdoor Classic is being billed as a hockey celebration that will begin with an alumni celebrity game on Friday, Jan. 20 followed by a regular-season matchup between rivals the Toronto Marlies and the hometown Hamilton Bulldogs the next day.

Players from minor hockey associations in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Dundas, Ancaster, Grimsby, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Caledonia, and Burlington have the chance to participate in this event as the Hamilton Bulldogs Foundation hosts the 4th Annual Skate with the Bulldogs as part of the Steeltown Showdown Outdoor Classic.

The Steeltown Showdown is the first outdoor AHL game staged in Canada. Organizers are hoping that more than 22,000 fans will set the AHL record for an outdoor game when the puck is dropped at Ivor Wynne, the football stadium that is usually home to the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

For a minimum of $75 in pledges, minor hockey participants receive a ticket to the Bulldogs-Marlies game and the Montreal Canadiens-Toronto Maple Leafs alumni game, a Bulldogs jersey, and a post-game skating session at Ivor Wynne with Bulldogs players.

Prizes will also be awarded to the top individual and team fundraisers.

The pledge forms will go to two organizations in the city: Hamilton Minor Hockey Council programs for player development, association support, and providing equipment and financial support to those who would otherwise not be able to afford to play the game; and the Canadian Institute for the Blind to provide vital services and programs for people with vision loss.

The Bulldogs Foundation is in a unique position within the community that allows for beneficial partnerships with organizations such as Hamilton Minor Hockey and CNIB. Given the respect and admiration that children have for the Bulldogs players, the organization is able to give back to the community to help raise funds for the deserving organizations. This responsibility is one that the Hamilton Bulldogs accepts with great pride and respect. Skate with the Bulldogs is one such way that the ‘Dogs players can give back to the community.

CNIB is a registered charity that provides community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure blind and partially sighted Canadians have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.

Hamilton Minor Hockey Council focuses on developing and encouraging sportsmanship, community spirit and good fellowship among all participants to the betterment of their physical, mental and social well-being.