The 2017 OPC Hockey Tournament took place May 5 and 6, for the first time being held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, hosted by Local 2085. The OPC Hockey Tournament was created by the IBEW Ontario Provincial Council – comprised of all IBEW Construction Local Unions in the province of Ontario, and has grown to include Local Unions from across the IBEW.
Local 2085 began sending a team to the OPC tournament five years ago, at first, having trouble winning a game. Over the years, as the team worked together, newer members got involved, their luck changed, winning the C Division in Toronto back in 2015, and then last year, winning the B Division when the tournament was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This year, on home ice, Local 2085 members were able to pull together and defeat all other teams, taking the A Division Championship, with a 2-1 win over the competitive team from Local 530, Sarnia ON, who were also the defending champions! Local 2085 is the first local to win the “A” division outside of Ontario in the whole 54 years the OPC tournament has been around.
“Partnering with contractors is key to the success and betterment of our members. We introduced the Code of Excellence program this year, highlighting the partnership with the CLRAM team and IBEW 2085, but we have been partners with them for many years already,” Russ Shewchuk, Business Manager Local 2085. “Local 2085 would like to extend our sincere thanks to our local contractors, who have generously supported the Local’s hockey club over the past few years.We would like to thank True North Entertainment and the Winnipeg Jets for helping us host this year’s tournament. Our IBEW 2085 hockey club has been playing out of their facility for the past few seasons and their commitment to excellence, great service, and the fantastic venue have shown through in the tournament.”
The 54th annual tournament saw 20 teams enter in the A, B, C and 40+ Divisions, from Local Unions across Canada including Local 804, 2085, 586, 105, 120, 1687, 353, 530, 2038, 402 . Solidarity extends across the border for this tournament as well with Local Unions from across the US coming out to compete including Local 103 Boston MA, Local 58 Detroit MI, Local 8 Toledo OH.
“We had many brothers and sisters from IBEW 2085 who took in the games and also volunteered. It was very positive for IBEW 2085 as a whole, with putting three teams from our local on the ice. We had around 45 brothers to play on the various teams and I personally believe that it made 45 brothers even more proud to be IBEW 2085 members,” Jeffrey Skinner, Local 2085 Organizer. “Anytime you can get our members engaged in union activities, it brings our local closer together. It truly highlights the word brother in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Winning the “A” division will be something that not only the 14 brothers (including myself) will ever forget but the 1300 members of our great local.”