Hockey players from the 2018 Oak Bay XMas charity hockey tournament. The annual Boxing Day tourney returns Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Oak Bay XMas Cup)

Boxing Day hockey tourney returns to Oak Bay

The 11th annual tournament is an Oak Bay tradition

The puck drops at 3:15 p.m. Boxing Day in Oak Bay arena for the 11th annual Oak Bay XMas Cup.

In keeping with the turkey-burn trend, each team plays three games within seven hours for the one-day charity hockey tournament. It runs until 10 p.m.

As per tradition, the same four teams will return: Team Christmas, Team Hanukah, Team Feliz Navidad, and Team Festivus. This year’s tourney is raising money for Need2, a suicide prevention, education and support service.

READ ALSO: Boxing Day hockey tourney helps families facing MD

About 150 to 200 friends and family members will hang out to watch the tournament and bid on the 60-item silent auction table. The fundraising event has raised $78,000 since it started, all going to various charities, said organizer Sean Tackaberry, a lifelong Oak Bay resident, former Victoria Cougars Jr. B player, assistant coach, and current owner-operator of Kirby’s Source for Sports on Cloverdale Avenue.

Tackaberry plays on Team Hanukah which will be graced with the star power of former NHLer Matt Pettinger this year.

“We have players of all skill level, from ex-NHLers to people in hockey gear for the first time,” Tackaberry said. “It’s a lot of Oak Bay folks, Oak Bay High grads and business owners.”

It also features a lot of Kirby’s staff, which is why Kirby’s is not open on Boxing Day.

READ MORE: Matt Pettinger, from the NHL to real estate

The event truly has become a tested tradition. Each year one of the four teams gets a new set of sweaters, meaning every four years one of the teams gets a new look. The sweaters get crazier, wilder, and uglier each year.

Teams play two round-robin games, with the top teams advancing to a final and the other two will play in a third-place game. With so many returnees there is now a family skate built-in during the evening. Games are 60 minutes each.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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