Sunday was emotional for many in the Energy City and surrounding region, as the community came out in full force to celebrate Mike Sarada Memorial Day.

Crowds swarmed Affinity Place to pay their respects to the beloved minor hockey coach and mentor, who passed away tragically on Janurary 8th.

The events started with a pair of memorial games, with the rosters comprising of former teammates, and family and friends. 

The participants of the memorial games included Mike's former teammates, family and friends.

Tanner and Cole Denesowych were among the family members who laced up their skates in honor of their cousin.

"It's an honor to be here, and to participate. It's very heartwarming to see all the friends that he's made here over the years playing hockey. Being able to enjoy one last game with all these guys, I know Mike's looking down and smiling," expressed Tanner.

Cole added that Sarada would be leaving "a massive legacy. I mean, he's gonna be missed by a lot of people, as you can see by the outcome, and he's gonna be remembered by a lot of people too."

"He's impacted a lot of the kids he's coached, and they'll know how to be a coach and how to treat their kids when they grow up. He was a role model for a lot of kids," Tanner chimed back in, pointing out that the ripple effect will be felt for generations.

Both men also expressed that Sarada was someone they looked up to when it came to hockey, someone a lot of people wanted to be like.

Kent Bittner also has a long history with Mike. Though not related by blood, they were brothers in a sporting sense, playing together through the bantam and midget years.

"It's great, having all the guys out and just seeing how many lives he's touched, the people in the community, and how much he means to the guys on the ice and in these dressing rooms."

"He was always a great team guy. Worked hard, always looked out for his teammates. I think that carried over into his coaching and what he expected of his boys," he added. 

"I played a lot of ball and hockey with Mike, so we shared a lot of summers together, a lot of winters together, and a few beverages along the way. He's a good dude, and we had a close knit group of guys back in the home country, so it's tough, it's never gonna be forgotten."

Long time sponsor for the Bantam Bruins, TS&M, donated $2,200 to the Mike Sarada Legacy Fund.

 Following the memorial matches, the Midget AA Apex Bruins hit the ice against Weyburn. Defenceman Carson Benning   shared that it was a huge game for him, as he went out and played as he'd been taught by the man himself.

 "He was a huge impact on me, and he was a great coach, I liked him a lot. We all wanted to play this game, and it was a fun   game to play." 

 Finally, Sarada's last team, the TS&M Bantam AA Bruins, took their place on the ice against their Weyburn opponents. First   however, that game was preceded by a ceremony that included a donation from long time sponsor TS&M, giving $2,200   towards the Mike Sarada Legacy Fund, with the amount being chosen to signify Sarada's jersey number, 22. Other   presentations included a $750 donation and poetic recitation from the Weyburn Wings, a tribute video featuring players past   and present sharing their memories of Mike, and the giving of two #22 jerseys, one to his family and one to his closest friend.

 It will also be a day never forgotten by Tom Copeland, who worked alongside Mike as Head Coach of the Bantam Bruins, and   who was among those heading up the organizing committee for the event.

 "I think we did a great job. We did what we set out to achieve, to honor Mike's legacy, and I think it's been fabulous." 

With cash donations pouring in, and auctions and 50/50 running, he estimated that they would top $20,000, though the final numbers weren't in yet.

"On top of honoring people's legacy, I think a lot of people that didn't understand that there's good quality minor hockey being played in the town, they saw that," he noted.




More Local News

Accident On Friday Night

An accident on Friday evening kept Emergency crews busy. "At approximately 11 pm on January 18th, Estevan Police and Estevan Fire were called to the scene of a single vehicle collision," explains…

New Look for Canadian Dollar in 2019: Will Honour Gay Rights

Joe Wickenhauser is the Executive Director of Moose Jaw PRIDE and the Saskatchewan PRIDE Network. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. To commemorate…

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and… is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide