The North Okanagan Knights will look pretty in pink all October for two serious reasons.
The Junior B hockey team will unveil their pink jerseys tonight when they entertain the Revelstoke Grizzlies (7:30) at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Knights are marking Mental Health Awareness and Breast Cancer Month with $1 from every home game ticket going to the Canadian Cancer Foundation. Pink ribbons, flowers and chocolates will be given out for a donation at the door.
North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier can relate to both mental health issues and cancer.
“This is the third year we’ve promoted mental health and we’ve had one kid suffer each year,” said Perrier. “We shut down one player for two months the first year. It’s a scary thing. You can tell by their body language that something is not quite right. We talk to the players and parents before the season and ask them to let us know if they are feeling down and need some help.”
Perrier has a family member who suffers with mental illness and says the disease takes its toll on loved ones.
He also wants to see cancer beaten.
“I lost my mom to cancer five years ago at 75. She was active and healthy and she was diagnosed in September after her birthday and she died in February. That was hard to see.”
The Knights, meanwhile, have lost last year’s leading scorer Dean Whitcomb (19 goals ande 37 points).
“Dean decided to leave the game,” said Perrier. “He didn’t want a trade. He’s gone back to Prince George. It’s a tough loss for us. He knows the ropes. He brings instant energy and instant compete.”
Whitcomb scored twice in five games this season.
The Knights lost 5-2 to the Osoyoos Heat Wednesday night at the Sun Bowl.
Carl Main and Cole Haberlack scored for the Knights (1-3-1-1). Branden Onstein bagged a deuce for the Heat (4-3).
The Knights visit the Princeton Posse (4-2-1-1) Saturday night.