Manitoba donates to Hockey Can’t Stop Tour before stop in Winnipeg

The Manitoba government announced Thursday they’d be donating $5,000 to support the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour (HCST).

The HCST features the Ukrainian U-25 men’s hockey team travelling across western Canada to play against some university teams in preparation for the upcoming Winter World University Games in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“Manitoba’s support for Ukrainians seeking refuge and safety from the unprovoked attack in their homeland has been unwavering — a testament to the spirit and generosity of all Manitobans,” said Premier Heather Stefanson. “We continue to welcome them with open hearts and arms and now we can come together in our shared passion for hockey.”

Ukraine and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies take a team photo after their game on Dec. 30, 2022. (Photo Credit: Canada West TV)

“Our government is pleased to support the Hockey Can’t Stop Tour in partnership with the University of Manitoba, True North Sports + Entertainment and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC),” said Sport, Culture and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith. “What better way to bring Manitobans together and to reaffirm our government’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian community.”

Proceeds from tickets and donations are going towards the Canada/Ukrainian Foundation, with the majority going to the Save Ukrainian Hockey Dream foundation. Proceeds will go towards supporting players at home and abroad, training for both youth and professional teams, and the restoration of Ukrainian arenas damaged by the war.

Speaking to media in Edmonton about the tour earlier this week, Goalie Dmytro Kubritskiy said it was difficult for many of his teammates to leave Ukraine in order to play.


“It was hard to leave our families,” Kubritskiy said in a news conference at Rogers Arena, home of the National Hockey League’s Edmonton Oilers, on Tuesday.

“Some of our guys have weight on their soul.”

He said those on the team understand that it’s important for them to advance the sport for their country.

Ukraine celebrates their first goal against the University of Calgary Dinos on Jan. 2, 2023, at Father David Bauer Arena in Calgary. (Photo Credit: Canada West TV)

So far Ukraine has played the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the University of Calgary Dinos, and the University of Alberta Golden Bears.

Ukraine will be taking on the University of Manitoba (U of M) Bisons to close out the HCST at Winnipeg’s Canada Life Centre on Jan. 9.

“The University of Manitoba Bisons men’s hockey team is thrilled to host the Ukraine national team in support of humanitarian groups in Ukraine and Canada,” said Michael Benarroch, president and vice-chancellor, U of M. “Our university, along with our province, has many connections to Ukraine and we welcome this opportunity to bring the community together.”

Tickets for the game can be purchased here.

-With files from Adam Ziccarelli, CityNews and The Canadian Press

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