By: Garrett Osterode/GCU Staff
As the GCU Men’s Ice Hockey team wraps up the fall portion of their 2019-20 season, they have one gift remaining for Lopes’ hockey fans.
Wrapped neatly and with a bow, this gift is a 60-minute exhibition game against alumni of the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. The Lopes will have the opportunity to square off against players who have played on hockey’s biggest stage.
This exhibition between the Lopes’ Division I team and a cast of Arizona Coyotes alumni will be the latest chapter in what has become a flourishing relationship between Grand Canyon University and the desert’s NHL franchise. The Lopes have been the beneficiary of a brand-new roller hockey rink earlier this year (provided by the Coyotes), and even participated in the Coyotes’ Esports tournament back in September.
Fans will not only get to experience high level ACHA Division I hockey and the stars of Arizona Coyotes past, but will also have the opportunity to meet the players, get autographs and even win prizes. This is the first year the Coyotes’ Alumni have met on the ice with GCU, so the excitement and energy amongst the players will not disappoint.
“The opportunity to play against some ex-NHL guys is a cool experience for our guys,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Daniel Roy. “Especially right before finals week, it’ll be nice to let the guys have some fun in an environment like this.”
A few of the featured former Coyotes participating on Saturday night include (but are not limited to) 17-year NHL alum Mike Sillinger, who played for 12 different NHL organizations; Stanley Cup champion and ex-United States Olympian Sean Hill, and Zbynek Michalek, who is a former Olympian and played for the Coyotes as recently as 2017.
Along with the autographs and prizes, the Lopes will be wearing special jerseys representing the partnership between the Coyotes and Lopes. These jerseys will be on sale at the game, with all profits supporting the GCU Men’s Ice Hockey team.
“It’s great that the Arizona Coyotes throw events like this together to help out organizations like ours,” said Roy. “It’s not only an opportunity for us to raise some money for our program but an experience our players will never forget.”
Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 pm on Saturday, December 7 at AZ Ice Arcadia (38th Street and Thomas; building is behind the Sprint store).
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