An awesome, but seldom thought of as cuddly and adorable combination: Langley-based Vancouver Giants bring together hockey and puppies. (Special to the Langley Advance)

Hockey lovers can cuddle puppies at Wednesday night’s Giants game

The Vancouver G-Men are raising money for and drawing awareness to LAPS and mental health issues.

A team of Langley hockey players are going for the “awwwwwww….” effect tonight, by combining “two of the world’s greatest things: Hockey and puppies.”

Members of the Vancouver Giants are bringing puppies to tonight’s game and offering a puppy kissing booth.

The G-Men is partnering with Milner Feed and Pet Supplies, the sponsor of tonight’s matchup against the Calgary Hitmen, to draw awareness and raise money for the Langley Animal Protection Society.

A $5 donation can get audience members a picture with one of the adorable puppies they have in care, with all the money raised going to the cause, said play-by-play broadcaster Dan O’Connor.

Taking it a step further, Milner Feeds will be providing cowbells, via donation, again with all proceeds to LAPS.

Tickets are still available for the Wednesday night’s 7 p.m. game. They can be purchased in advance at www.vancouvergiants.com.

Meanwhile, the Langley-based G-Men are also teaming up with Canadian Mental Health Association Vancouver-Fraser Branch to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in connection with a weekend game.

The Giants play host to the Medicine Hat Tigers at 7 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 3 at Langley Events Centre.

To help promote the cause, they’ve invited CMHA to set up a kiosk, so fans can learn more about mental health.

They will also be showing videos featuring Vancouver players talking about the importance of mental health and team members will participate in public address announcements about the subject.

Noticeable on the ice Saturday night, the players will also be sporting green skate-laces and using green stick-tape to help create further awareness.

The awareness campaign is part of the ongoing commitment by the Vancouver Giants and CMHA Vancouver-Fraser Branch to implement Talk Today. Talk Today provides mental health support to players and raises awareness about mental health and suicide prevention throughout communities across the Western Hockey League, explained Vancouver Giants head coach Jason McKee.

A key piece of the Talk Today program has been to educate players about mental health and suicide prevention.

“It is very important that our team and our league participates in this important initiative,” added McKee. “Every day we strive to provide a safe, enjoyable and healthy environment for our players, and the Talk Today initiative provides an excellent resource for all of us so that we can continue to have an open, honest conversation about mental health.”

Every team has received mental health training specific to suicide prevention.

Each team is also now linked to a CMHA Mental Health Coach, who provides support and mental health resources to individuals in need.

“CMHA Vancouver-Fraser is proud to partner with the Vancouver Giants to support the players in strengthening their psychological health, building resiliency, and increasing mental health literacy and suicide prevention. Through education and awareness, we will ensure mental health for all players within the communities where they live, work and play”, said Sarah Zurbuchen, president of Canadian Mental Health Association’s Vancouver-Fraser branch.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available online, starting from $19.75.

To read more about Talk Today, people can also visit the CMHA webpage.

 

Vancouver Giant Owen Hardy helps bring attention to the importance of mental health.

Vancouver Giant Hunor Torzsok helps bring attention to the importance of mental health.

Vancouver Giant netminder David Tendeck helps bring attention to the importance of mental health.

Vancouver Giant Brennan Riddle helps bring attention to the importance of mental health.

An awesome, but seldom thought of as cuddly and adorable combination: Langley-based Vancouver Giants bring together hockey and puppies. (Special to the Langley Advance)

An awesome, but seldom thought of as cuddly and adorable combination: Langley-based Vancouver Giants bring together hockey and puppies. (Special to the Langley Advance)

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