Are you ready for another exciting season of Steinbach Pistons hockey? Mike and Dorinda Penner sure are and they are inviting the community to join in.
The Penner’s are like most families, their lives were taken away from the hockey rink once their kids advanced through the various age groups and graduated from the sport competitively.
Three years ago, they were invited back with free tickets from a sister-in-law. Not thinking that the Pistons would eventually become a big part of their lives they decided to attend and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
“We used those tickets and found it interesting and good hockey,” Mike said. “The energy of the building captivated us, so we tracked down playoff tickets. Every playoff game we scrounged up tickets to find out where we would sit or stand for the next game. We ended up watching every playoff game that year, all the way to the[Turnbull Trophy] Cup.”
However, it wasn’t just the hockey that kept the Penners wanting more. They also enjoyed the community atmosphere, sometimes missing parts of the game because of good conversation with friends and neighbours under the bleachers or standing in line for concessions.
“We were meeting with local people, watching great hockey and it was an evening out,” Dorinda said about her experience at the games. “We didn’t have to drive to Winnipeg and it wasn’t close to the cost of a Winnipeg Jets game. Yet it was a fabulous evening out, with great energy in the building and great hockey. Why wouldn’t you support a local team instead of paying 10 times the cost for a national team.”
The Penners passion for the team has led to new creative merchandise ideas. After a recent trip to Mexico, they were inspired by all the NHL fabric ponchos that they decided to seek the Pistons help in creating their own. Dorinda says getting her husband to buy into the concept was easier than she initially thought.
“At this point I won’t be able to pull it out for a regular season game,” said Mike, who says people have offered to buy their ponchos off their backs. “I’m going to have to wait and hold off for the playoffs. This will be my playoff poncho.”
Their enthusiasm for their local Junior ‘A’ team has rubbed off on friends and family. The Penners started two years ago with five season tickets and now they enter into this season with a total of 10.
“If you have had kids in hockey or like watching NHL hockey and appreciate where these players have come from, they all had to start somewhere,” she said. “The only way they get to scholarship and pro hockey is with community support.”