Battle of the Badges hockey players from left

Battle of the Badges hockey players from left

Battle of the Badges

Victoria and Saanich police officers take it to Game 7 in epic hockey battle. We’re putting our money on VicPD.

After nearly 15 years the Victoria Police Capitals and Saanich Police Watchdogs hockey teams have made it to Game 7.

The two squads, whose rosters consist of members from their respective institutions, have their eyes on being the first to inscribe their team’s name on the coveted Battle of the Badges trophy, which current sits at three wins apiece.

Puck drop is 6 p.m. at Archie Browning Sports Centre on Tuesday (March 24).

“It started as friendly Victoria-Saanich banter in the locker room,” said Const. Phil DiBattista of VicPD, Capitals’ captain. “The trophy is really cool, it’s from an athletic contest for Victoria area police officers 100 years ago. We found it and re-purposed it, and we love winning it.”

That low-key rivalry evolved into the fundraising force for Victoria’s Special Olympics chapter.

Admission for the game is by donation with a well-stocked silent auction, including and an authentic 2014-15 Washington Capitals sweater signed by the team, yes, including Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom, as well as Ovehckin and Backstrom signed game-pucks (Caps’ coach Barry Trotz had them sent over in support when he heard about the event). There’s also a 50-50 raffle for the Special Olympics.

Opening ceremonies will feature a puck drop by the respective police chiefs and Stephanie Greaves will sing the national anthem, just as she’s done at Rogers Arena for the Vancouver Canucks.

“It’s a lot of fun for us to play. We’re all colleagues and we work together all the time,” DiBattista said. “It’s good for us to get out there and just be part of the community, and invite the community to come out and see yes we’re police officers, but we’re part of the community.”

The losing team’s police force will fly the flag of the other team’s police force for 24 hours. Each team’s bench will also have a Special Olympics athlete handling the bench door for player shift changes.

“We’ve partnered with (Victoria Special Olympics) in the past,” DiBattista said. “We just thought we donate to them regularly, hockey’s fairly athletic and it seemed like a really good fit.”

“(Last year’s game) was well-received with full arena at Pearkes, 550 people,” said Saanich police Const. Damian Kowalewich, who played for the Victoria Cougars junior B team in its inaugural season of 1998-99. “Archie Browning is bigger so we’re hoping to take advantage of it’s size this year. And of course, Ace the dog, Saanich Police’s mascot, will come out for the kids.”

Cliff LeQuesne from 100.3 The Q! radio station will serve as master of ceremonies.

“It’s all for the Special Olympics, every single minute of it,” Kowalewich said. “It’s important to promote the health and wellness for individuals from all walks of life.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrested a 42-year-old man April 11 following numerous reports of someone firing a rifle in a Malahat campground. (Courtesy of West Shore RCMP)
West Shore RCMP arrest man after shots fired at Malahat campground

Police received numerous reports of a man firing a rifle outside his camper trailer

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
Pacheedaht Nation says activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Pacheedaht is concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Driver who crashed into Uptown Walmart likely suffering mental health crisis, police say

Man in his early 20s drove through a parkade wall, no serious injuries reported

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. and Victoria’s overdose deaths still rising five years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Additional COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School. (Google Streetview)
Additional COVID-19 exposures reported at two Saanich schools

New dates of exposure added to Arbutus Global Middle School and Mount Doug Secondary School

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

In Ontario, COVID-19 vaccine clinics have been set up at local mosques. (Submitted photo: Rufaida Mohammed)
Getting the vaccine does not break your fast, says Muslim COVID-19 task force

Muslim community ‘strongly’ encouraging people to get their shot, whether or not during Ramadan

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

The Campbell River Gun Club outdoor range is located on Argonaut Road west of Campbell River. CRGC/Facebook photo
Campbell River Gun Club range shut down after complaints of stray bullets

Neighbour says bullets hit caretaker’s RV and shattered a glass panel on his deck

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Green Point Campground saw an unprecedented flurry of reservations last week. (Pacific Rim National Park Reserve photo)
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campground sees ‘unprecedented’ interest

Reservations being accepted as Green Point Campground scheduled to open May 1

Restaurant owners Oura and Kymon Giakoumakis visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PODCAST: COVID-19 pandemic hits Island’s food service industry hard

Pair of Vancouver Island restaurant owners share thoughts and advice

Most Read