Arena Grand Opening less than a month away

Posted: January 7, 2009

New arenaA new chapter in Briercrest history begins February 6 and 7 with the much-anticipated Grand Opening of its new hockey arena.

Itís difficult to describe the anticipation that has been building for this event.

"This is a celebration for six decades of Briercrest students, staff, and community members who have been looking forward to the day a new rink would be built," said Mike Benallick, the Grand Opening event coordinator. "This new building is a dream come true for a lot of people."

Sparrow Gardens, originally a WWII airplane hangar, is where Briercrest College and Caronport High School students have been playing hockey since 1946óand it shows. Laying it to rest means the end of an era for a number of former hockey players, but as Doug Bergren, who played Briercrest hockey in the 60ís and 70ís, says, "Itís time to move on to the next Sparrow Gardens and let the next generation begin their memories."

Sparrow GardensBenallick and school administration are encouraging alumni, students, and people from within and beyond the community to come and celebrate this new beginning throughout the weekend.

A Clipper hockey game will take place Friday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. A community pancake breakfast will take place Saturday morning at 8:00 a.m., and the rink dedication ceremony will take place the same afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

An alumni hockey tournament will also run throughout the weekend as six teams of former Cougars (Caronport High School) and Clippers (Briercrest College) compete for the alumni title. Fridayís games will take place at Sparrow Gardens from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdayís games will take place in the new arena from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Click here for a full schedule and more information.