The Castlegar Rebels show off their firefighter jerseys in front of a Castlegar Fire Department truck.
The Castlegar Rebels battled the Nelson Leafs with a different look.
On Saturday night, they swapped their Anaheim Duck-themed jerseys and pants for those of firefighters. It’s a tribute to first responders on their home ice.
“We had our first responders event last year and it was a big success. We had a great crowd and everybody had a lot of fun,” says Rebels coach-GM Carter Duffin. “This year we wanted to amp it up another notch. Doing some firefighter jerseys was pretty exciting. The guys were wearing jerseys that are full duty gear that look like they are putting an axe on their back and heading into a burning fire – except we are going to go into the crease and try to slap some goals into the back of the net.”
The Rebels organization came up with the design and Duffin is “really excited about the final result.”
Following the game, their firefighter uniforms will be auctioned off at www.castlegarrebels.ca. People can click on the jersey, selecting the player of their choice and bid on it. Part proceeds will go to the Castlegar Fire Department to donate to their charity of choice – Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
Duffin chose their game against Nelson to wear the uniforms to bring recognition to the team and league, plus the Leafs are a divisional rival. Duffin has been excited about the event for some time, with the players posing for photos on firetrucks.
“It’s something unique,” says Duffin, adding that first responders are a big part of their community. “The Rebels players spend a lot of time engaged in the community, and from junior hockey to professional hockey players are often seen as heroes; but the true heroes in our communities are the first responders, the men and women that put themselves on the line to ensure we are safe. Those are the people we want to recognize as the true heroes with this event.”