Terrier’s Annual Sportsman Dinner last night.

Dave “Tiger” Williams chatting with Kathy Keast from the Portage Credit Union.

Portage La Prairie, MB – Last night the Terriers held their annual Sports Dinner at the Canadinn. This year’s guest speaker was former Toronto Maple Leaf Dave ‘Tiger’ Williams and he received a standing ovation from the more than 250 people in attendance.

The former tough guy was auctioned off to the highest bidder to join your table for dinner and the Portage Credit Union were the lucky winners and as such were regaled with stories all through their meal.

When it came time for Williams to speak, he had a lot of great stories from his days in the NHL as well as from his past weekend at the Hockey Hall of Fame event in Toronto. He took a lot of his time speaking directly to the current Terriers sitting at the back of the room in their green jerseys.

Rookie forward Ryan Sokoloski at his first event as a Terrier remarked on the excitement of the night. “The meal was great and I really enjoyed meeting the sponsors that support the team. I’ll remember the great stories he (Williams) had from Junior and Pro. I will also remember the things he told us about becoming better hockey players and getting to the next step in our careers.”

Tiger also talked about the rarity of making the NHL and that it’s important for all of them to think about the big picture. He spoke of the importance of knowing your role within a team and that each night it’s about the whole and not the individual. “Don’t take one practice or one shift for granted. There are only two things you are in control of and that’s your mind and your heart. “

I spoke with veteran defenceman Brock Weston about the night and what he took away from the event.

“I thought he was a great guy (Williams). He really took time to talk to us before the dinner and he’s down to earth and tells it like it is. When he talked about the roles of players changing from level to level I think that spoke to a lot of guys including myself. He reminded us to stay grounded and realize it is a team game and even some of the best toughest guys to ever play used to like to score goals too, but he had to adjust to help his team as well as his family win. “

At the end of the evening the auction took place and it was a great night for all involved. There were some great new prizes this year with suites to the Wheat Kings, Goldeyes and our own Terriers in the mix as well as a trip to watch a weekend of UND hockey. There was a custom made poker table of our very own PCU as well as numerous autographed jerseys. There were friendly bidding battles which all saw the Terriers come out as winners.

A big thanks to all our sponsors, people who donated prizes as well as all who attended.