On Monday night, the University of Manitoba Bison's men’s hockey team faced the Ukrainian Men’s National Hockey Team in a charity game at the Canada Life Centre as a part of Canada West’s “Hockey Can’t Stop Tour.
For former Steinbach Piston and current Bison Cody Behun, the opportunity to play in the game was a “special moment.”
“It was a pretty cool experience, that's for sure. Playing at the Canada Life Centre, growing up in Winnipeg, watching the Jets play. It was pretty cool to finally play there in front of my hometown and all my family members and friends. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime and something I'll never forget.”
For the team, they felt excitement in the air.
“Once we heard that we were playing in the Canada Life Centre, we're seeing all the advertisements, and hearing about how many tickets were sold and whatnot, it just made us even more excited to play. Even just to play an international team as well was a very cool experience,”
With more than 7,000 in attendance, Behun adds that the environment in the arena made the start of the game “nerve-wracking.” However, after getting warmed up, he says that the “jitters kind of go away.”
Looking back on his career, Behun says the game is “probably at the top of the list” for him.
“I didn't really want the game to be over in a way, we're just all having so much fun out there. Meeting some new players on the opposing team as well was awesome. All in all, it was just such a great experience for us and everyone that was involved.”
As a part of the tour, the Ukrainian team also played against Saskatchewan, Calgary and Alberta. All profits from ticket sales go towards hockey and humanitarian causes in Ukraine and Canada.
With files from Dave Anthony.