Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Whalers, Spits team up for Special Olympics

On the ice, the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers and Windsor Spitfires have been competing against one another since 1990 to the count of 156 regular season games, plus several passionately played playoff series.

Ask fans on either side of the border and they will say that the Plymouth-Windsor rivalry is one they cherish.

Off the ice, the front offices of the Whalers and Spitfires occasionally put their differences aside and work in the spirit of cooperation. That’s the case this season when Plymouth and Windsor will team up to raise money for the Special Olympics. Proceeds of the Plymouth-Windsor games played at the Windsor Family Credit Union Centre on January 25 and at Compuware Arena on January 30 will go to Special Olympics.

As part of the OHL’s “Big Ticket Game” promotion, Plymouth is teaming up with the Fraternal Order of Police to support the Special Olympics Michigan. The volunteers will be passing around buckets at the game, looking for donations from fans to raise additional funds for the Special Olympics. Every person that makes a donation will receive a “big ticket” and will be entered into a raffle to win a number of prizes from the Whalers and local businesses.

The Whalers have also planned activities with Special Olympians who attend the game. There will have a pizza party before the game, which will include appearances from some of the Whalers players. Also, throughout the night, Special Olympians will experience different aspects of the game including watching warm-ups from the penalty boxes, singing the American National Anthem, dropping the ceremonial puck, and being honored during one of the intermissions.

The Spitfires recently moved to the brand-new Windsor Family Credit Union Centre, a state-of-the-art facility that needs to be seen to be enjoyed. Whalers fans were encouraged to check out the WFCU Centre on January 25, while Spitfire fans are encouraged to cross the border to show their support in Plymouth.

Back to the action on the ice, Windsor remains the top team in the OHL and the second-ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League with a record of 42-5-0-1. And although the Whalers stand at 22-21-5-0, they’ve played the Spitfires tough, which should make both games exciting and entertaining for the fans. Windsor has won two games by the score of 1-0 (October 25 at Compuware Arena and December 31 at Windsor Family Credit Union Centre) and the Whalers won, 2-1, on November 26 at Compuware Arena.

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