By Michael Christianson
The Dryden GM Ice Dogs are preparing for a banner year as Dryden hosts the Dudley Hewitt Cup in May. On Sunday the Dogs took their first steps into the new season by meeting the fans that have supported them over the years.
The 2017-18 season Ice Dogs hosted a meet and greet at Sandy Beach and there were many new faces on the team for old fans to meet.
Woody Galbraith is returning for his third season with the Dryden GM Ice Dogs and he saw the event as the first opportunity for the team to get out and put names to faces.
“It’s always good to get out into the community and see some kids that come to our games and see some fans. A lot of the kids I seen my first year and now they’re growing up, getting bigger and it’s good to see them still,” said Galbraith.
Team President Mike Sveinson says the team will be more out front in the community this year adding that it is a very important year for the franchise.
“All that I ever wanted to be was a billet home for the Ice Dogs; at the time I had a four year old son, who is a little older now, but when I saw what he thought of the team and the impact that these kids have on his life I was compelled to be more involved in it,” said Sveinson. “I really believe in the team and the impact it has on kids.”
Kids in attendance got to play games with their favourite players, toss water balloons and get their faces painted. A sunny day near the beach drew many eager fans.
Last year’s SIJHL Rookie of the Year Eric Stout returns to the Dryden GM Ice Dogs this year and he aims to prove his title wasn’t a fluke. Stout said he was happy to be back around familiar faces.
“To me having those guys and kids look up to us that’s just a great feeling, a lot of people don’t get that so when they come up to you and they know you’re name it makes you feel really good about yourself,” said Stout.