This past Friday night saw an outdoor hockey game played in the memory of Jeffrey James Olson. He was a heavily involved young hockey player, similar to many that chase their passion for the game. Jeff was a revered young man who's life ended too early.
Jeff grew up playing his minor hockey in Kindersley, before being drafted in the 5th Round of the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft. He then took off to join the Swift Current Legionnaires to begin his AAA career, which also included a season with the Battlefords Stars. Jeff played one season of Junior A/B in Manitoba and Alberta, and was a prospect, and prior teammate to many of the SJHL's 2012 Battlefords North Stars team.
Almost everybody who knew Jeff would not be surprised to find him at the local outdoor rink, fittingly right across the street from his family home. He had always dreamed about making his and many others winter home, something that could be utilized year round.
Madison Olson, Jeff's younger sister says the family decided to do just that after his passing, cementing the rink surface to guarantee a perfect sheet of ice for winters to come, and adding a basketball hoop to allow whomever to use the facility during summers. Many other additions and renovations from the family have been added in past years including a bench with a message stating Jeff's wish, and brand new lights to illuminate the families project.
Which leads us to the game. The Kindersley Krunch took on the Kindersley Buccaneers in a match-up of two recreational teams in the town. The Krunch came together in 2018, to organize the game for family and friends to come out and participate in a game of hockey, and raise money with a concession and raffle table for Jeff's project at the Rosedale Rink.
This years edition was considerably warmer than the previous one, and that allowed for lots of fun to be had on the ice and in the crowd, as all fans and players left happy, with some even staying for an after party.
The Krunch won the game 12-6, to win the Jeff Olson Cup.