‘Ugly Sweater’ game is Thursday night

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The Superior High School girls’ hockey team aims to fill the rink with fans during the second annual Ugly Jersey game, when the Spartans host North Shore at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Superior Ice Arena.

The event will include a 50/50 raffle, chuck-a-puck competition, prize drawings for Superior High School students, a Chinese auction and more.

The band is set to play, and cheerleaders will help energize the crowd.

Fans are encouraged to wear ugly holiday sweaters to the game. In return, players will don their holiday jerseys featuring snowflakes, reindeer and evergreen trees.

“I’m not sure why they call them ugly jerseys,” said senior Alee Milinkovich, assistant captain. “I don’t think they’re ugly.”

The Spartans will face off against North Shore in a rematch of last year’s Ugly Jersey game, which Superior won 5-4.

“It’s a fun experience,” said Milinkovich, who is organizing this year’s event as her senior project. “We like to have the community come watch us.”

Funds raised will be split, with half going to purchase Christmas gifts for SHS students in need. The other half will be used by the hockey team. Last year’s proceeds went toward summer ice rental.

In addition to money, the team will be collecting non-perishable food items for St. Francis Church’s food shelf. Folks who bring a food item get a free ticket for the Chinese auction.

With their admission ticket, high school students are automatically entered into a drawing for a gas card, Dairy Queen gift cards and shake shop card.

The event is equal parts holiday celebration, fundraiser and recruitment tool. When Jill Young, whose daughter (Addie) is on the team, started Ugly Jersey Night last year, she was thinking about her past.

“I remember going to my first hockey game,” said Young.

Her neighbor was on the team and, since it was kids’ night, she had her picture taken with him. It left quite an impression.

“The younger kids remember that,” Young said.

She saw that same excitement during last year’s Ugly Jersey game, as girls walked up to players to get team photographs autographed. In a few years, they may be the ones wearing the ugly jerseys.

Last year’s event netted more than $800. Milinkovich is hoping to raise at least $500 this year. She encouraged everyone to stop by, cheer on the team and have some fun.

“It’s for a good cause,” the senior said.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for students and senior citizens. Free admission is offered to children in eighth grade and younger who wear a hockey jersey.