Chilliwack and Sardis students will square off this weekend in a cross-town hockey game organizers hope will have echoes of years gone by.
The game is the brainchild of Chilliwack secondary school entrepreneurship students Joel Atkinson and Jake Foley, who hope to draw hundreds of students to Twin Rinks two days before Christmas.
Atkinson-who plays Junior B hockey for the Abbotsford Pilots-says he came up with the idea lying in bed, as thoughts about hockey and his pending Entrepreneurship project swirled and coalesced in his head.
On Sunday they'll come to fruition as students from Chilliwack's two major high schools hit the ice.
After his entrepreneurial epiphany, Atkinson teamed with Foley, his classmate, to develop the plan and pitch it to his teacher, Matthew Ferris. It got a warm reception, but due to what one could say was some poor sportsmanship on the part of players and fans at games years ago, the school sought to distance itself from the event.
That's not much of a problem for Atkinson and Foley. While they can't bill the game as an inter-school clash, there's enough rivalry between the north and south sides of Chilliwack to restore the old hockey rivalry between the populations of the schools, er, areas of Chilliwack.
" The hope is to get a bunch of students out," said Foley, who will be overseeing the game from the sidelines.
Atkinson has drafted his north side team and enlisted his Pilots teammate Eric Wieking, a Sardis resident (and student), to lead and pick the other team.
There has been some "friendly trash talk" on Face-book, but Foley says he and Atkinson want the game to be a family event.
"We're hoping to get not only just students but people from the community out," he said.
Wieking says he was skep-tical at first, but has since gotten fully on board the game, filling out his roster with old friends from minor hockey and classmates who expressed an interest in lacing up their skates.
Foley and Atkinson, meanwhile, are nearing the end of a stressful month of planning.
There has been a solid response from Face-book, Foley says, where more than 100 students have expressed their intent on attending.
"We've hyped it up a lot," he said. "Students want to go have a fun night. It's on a Sunday; what else are students going to do?"
Now the ice has been rented, a referee enlisted, parents have been charmed into manning the doors, insurance waivers have been signed. Alumni from the two high schools will man the benches.
They just have to drop the puck.
? The game goes Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. at Twin Rinks, Rink 1. Doors open at 6: 30 p.m. Tickets are $5.