Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Former Klipper coach honoured

The Shaunavon Badgers honoured one of their past stars during a special 85th Anniversary Game against the Eastend Jets on Dec. 22.

by Fred Farnworth

The Badgers paid a special tribute to Troy Van Allen by retiring his number eight jersey prior to the opening face-off. Van Allen passed away this past July at the young age of 40 years.

His father Ritchie and his mother Penny along with grandmother Garda were among the Van Allen family members on hand for the special ceremony. Cory Poppy, Ryan Wallis, Quintin Cairns and J.J. Hunter of the Badger hockey club presented a framed number eight jersey to the Van Allen family. The banner was unveiled and time keeper Darcy Barkley raised the banner to the rafters of the arena. A moment of silence was then observed in Troy’s honour.

Van Allen filled many roles with the Badgers including player, coach and advisor. The Climax native also coached minor hockey in Shaunavon for a number of years. His hockey background included playing with the Melfort Mustangs of the Saskatchewan Junior “A” Hockey League and Junior “B” with the Kinistino Tigers.

Van Allen played senior hockey with the Shaunavon Badgers, Frontier Flyers and Kerrobert Tigers. He served as a coach and scout for the Kindersley Klippers of the SJHL. He also scouted for the Humboldt Broncos Junior “A” team and enjoyed many other hockey connections. He excelled playing baseball and fastball but his passion was hockey.

The special event also featured Badger Alumni members who lined up in front of the bleachers for the ceremony. Gordon Speirs and Leroy Cowan were some of the older alumni at the game. Speirs played from 1945 to 1957 while Cowan’s era was in the 1950’s and 60’s. There were many others like Al Hansen, Rick Hardin, Barry Floberg, Phil Lewans and former coach Alex McFadyen. The idea was to celebrate 85 years of Badger hockey in our community.

The Badgers wore special anniversary jerseys which were auctioned off by silent and live auction. The select group of retired Badger jerseys now features Troy Van Allen (eight), Ken Billington (nine) and Bill Hardin (four).

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