Wodonga will enter the 14th annual Dave Chandler Memorial Cup against Magpies at Wodonga Hockey Centre on Sunday as underdogs.
Last year’s division one men’s grand finalists have had a sluggish start to the season, with just two wins from the first nine games.
On the other hand, Magpies are flying with seven victories to sit two points clear on top of the ladder.
The Dave Chandler Memorial Cup is always a highly-anticipated event on the Border’s hockey calendar.
Serious illness forced Chandler to step down from the Wodonga Hockey Club committee, before he passed away on July 4, 2002, aged 41 years.
The Dave Chandler Cup was donated by the Poppins family in 2005.
Each year, on a weekend either side of July 4, Wodonga’s division one men play against Magpies, with the winning side being awarded the Dave Chandler Memorial Cup for that year.
Wodonga Hockey Club president Alan Warhurst admitted the club chose Magpies to share the day with because Chandler always had good battles with them in his playing days.
And that tradition has certainly lived on.
“Up until last year it was seven to Wodonga and six to Magpies,” Warhurst said.
“It’s been pretty consistent over the time.
“The players seem to go a bit harder and there’s been a lot of banter already about the day.
“It should be a good game and hopefully the weather holds out.”
Up until last year it was seven to Wodonga and six to Magpies.Wodonga Hockey Club president Alan Warhurst
In 2002, the Wodonga Hockey Club committee moved unanimously to honour Chandler, one of the club’s most valuable club members, by naming the division one men’s best and fairest trophy in his honour – known as the Dave Chandler Memorial Trophy.
Chandler was a police officer and joined the Bulldogs after transferring to Wodonga in the early 1990s.
“He quickly proved to be a valuable and loyal member of the club,” club secretary Marg Brown said.
“As a player, he had a passion for the game, once on the field he played with skill, dedication and a fierce determination.
“Dave served on the committee for many years, three as president.
“He also coached several junior teams and proudly supported his son, Marc.”
All proceeds from the day will be donated to the Cancer Council.
In other men’s matches, Norths will look to stay in touch with Magpies with a win against United, while Falcons face Wombats.
Meanwhile, Magpies can stay on top of the women’s ladder with a win against Wodonga, Wombats-Beechworth meet Falcons and Norths clash with United.
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