In 1998 a few St. Stephen’s parishioners got together to play men’s recreational hockey. Headed by Ron Josephs the numbers rose to as many as 20 players within a few short years. In 2003 Ron Bobyn took over and numbers increased to over 40 players ranging in age from 15 to 62. Ron Bobyn became the self-proclaimed “Commish” in 2009 when he re-branded the team to become the Ukrainian Hockey League… now known as “The UHL”.
In 2017 the UHL expanded to 4 teams lead by the Commish and four volunteer team captains. Things have sped up enough to make the “old guys” try to keep up to their younger teammates (their own kids!). Today the UHL has over 50 players (male and female) playing Sunday nights in April, May and June. Many are families with multiple players including 5 Demchuk’s, 5 Ewanchyna’s, 4 Sakundiak’s, 4 Patrician’s and 4 Josephs to name a few!
These players are all playing for fun. The thrill of playing with their son, daughter or dad has become the driving force behind the UHL. One year, three generations of Demchuk’s were on the ice at the same time. Players range in skill from novice to some playing in the WHL and even one for Women’s Team Canada.
The UHL has a “Cossack Kup” that was donated by the church J many years ago (various pots and pans spot-welded together) to form its own trophy equivalent to the Stanley Cup.
Every season, the players also “Pay Per Goal” to donate to charities and or people in need. The UHL is proud to say they have raised over $11,000 to date from its players and have donated it to charity, select parishioners in need of medical assistance, and to the Hike for Life Foundation.
Thank you to Ron (Bobyn) for submitting this article & photos! Who knew that St. Stephen’s has its own NHL … UHL!
Laurie Kindrachuk, editor
Contact me: email@example.com cell 403-614-5581
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