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Game on! RCMP, firefighters face off on Penticton’s outdoor rink

For the first since 2015, fire crews and police officer hit the ice together in Penticton

Bragging rights were on the line Saturday morning when local police and fire crews dropped the puck for Canada’s pastime on Penticton’s outdoor rink.

RCMP officers from across the South Okanagan and Penticton Fire Department members kicked off festivities at the facility on Jan. 20, as thousands of locals and tourists alike gear up for BCHL All-Star Weekend.

A game between the first responders hadn’t taken place since 2015.

“It’s great to be out there,” said Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth from the Oliver RCMP, in between shifts on Saturday.

“We used to have an annual game, usually at Memorial Arena, and the trophy never really left the RCMP detachment because we kept winning it over and over,” he added, with a laugh.

Police and fire crews played multiple games of three-on-three hockey Saturday, with the contests usually ending within one or two goals.

But like any exhibition outdoor hockey game, there’s always that million-dollar question: how do you decide who’s going to throw on the goaltender equipment and step into the crease?

“Whoever is a police officer and can play goalie,” Wrigglesworth replied with a laugh.

The game marked the first of many events set to take place in downtown Penticton on Jan. 20.

The UpperDek Vees — a team that coincidently sees Wrigglesworth as its coach — took to the ice right after the RCMP and fire crews’ game. The BCHL, meanwhile, brings its skills competition, alumni game and three-on-three tournament to the facility starting at noon.

Frost Fest, a brand-new winter festival at Gyro Park, will coincide with all BCHL-related events on Saturday.

READ MORE: Meet the Penticton Vees’ newest brotherly duo

About the Author: Logan Lockhart

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