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BATUS Hockey 17-19 March 2006

Story and photos by Sergeant Chris Tucker

The second annual BATUS (British Army Training Unit Suffield) Lions and Calgary Highlander Oakleafs hockey game was played on 11 March 2006 at the Centennial Arenas. As before, the game was the result of the special relationship between the Senior NCMs of the two organizations. The idea for the game was put forth by Warrant Officer Class II Gibb during the Robbie Burns dinner here in Calgary. The final details were hammered out during the BATUS Robbie Burns dinner the following weekend.

The referee for the game was unable to make the game so the decision was made to play without a ref. As it turned out the only penalty called during the game was against the Oakleafs Private Dan Dalidowicz for tripping. After feeling shame in the penalty box for two minutes, Dan helped shore-up the defence limiting the number of shots seen by our goalie Warrant Officer Mike Smith.

The first period produced little on the board for either side but after some encouraging words from Master Corporal Keith Kenny after the first period, the Oakleafs picked up the pace and started taking the game to BATUS. The Lions played like their namesake with grit and heart taking the Oakleafs to task and testing the goalie on numerous occasions. .

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Alas, the offensive punch of players like Master Corporal Cody Martin, Corporal James Hutcheson, and Private Darren McCallum were too much for the Lions defence. The real goal and the only one that counted was the fun had by all involved on and off the ice. Currently we are scheduling a rematch in Suffield. The Oakleafs are looking forward to rising to the occasion again to play another fun game of hockey. During the summer, who knows, maybe we will see a soccer game between the two units. If that happens we will require some time to learn the rules before we hit the pitch.

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