Opaskwayak Cree Nation's hockey team to skate another season

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A northern Manitoba community's hockey team will live to skate another season.

Opaskwayak Cree Nation's Junior Hockey team, OCN Blizzard, has been thrown a lifeline after community members stepped up to help fund another season.

"It's more like a support group where the people are willing to step forward and give us a hand and fundraising and stuff like that," said Dan Moore, the president of OCN board of directors, on CBC's Radio Noon on Friday.

In December, the First Nation announced that the 2016-17 season would be the last for the Blizzard after 20 years on the ice. The hockey team entered the Manitoba Junior Hockey League in 1996.

After the announcement, Moore said people from the community, The Pas and some other First Nations in the north stepped forward to help with funding. After the swell of support, the Opaskwayak Cree Nation chief and council passed a motion to continue the team.

While the funding may not be stable, Moore said they are confident they can make it work.

"The team itself is pretty excited. The coaching staff is happier now that we know where we are going. At least we can start planning again and doing stuff for next year and spring training camp and all that stuff," Moore said.

Hockey is extremely important for the community, especially the kids, Moore said.

"It's big man, it's really big, especially for the kids around here, that's all they talk about is the Blizzard," he said.

Currently the Blizzard sit at fourth in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League standings with 38 wins in 58 games.

They face the Steelers in Selkirk on Friday night.