Edmonton, AB — The game of hockey is built around winning and losing battles.
One-on-one battles, battles for loose pucks, battles along the boards, battles in front of the net.
Mitch Moroz knows all too well about the meaning behind those battles. It’s a big part of his game as a power forward with the Edmonton Oil Kings.
But the meaning of winning and losing battles digs a lot deeper for Moroz off the ice.
Cancer is a disease that ultimately affects almost everyone. It’s a harsh reality.
Moroz lost a very close family member to cancer 18 months ago.
For the second straight year, many of the Canadian Hockey League teams across the country jumped on board to support the Movember campaign to help raise funds and for men’s health and prostate cancer awareness.
“My great uncle passed away in July 2011, and he battled various forms of cancer including prostate for over 10 years,” said Moroz, who’s taking part with some of his Oil Kings teammates and staff for the team’s fourth year in a row.
“Our family has been greatly affected by this disease. I’ve seen the struggles that he went through for a good portion of my life. This was a small gesture I could do in his memory.”
Last year, CHL teams raised $128,222 and ranked 14th among all registered Canadian networks through their participation in Movember.
Halfway through the campaign this year, the CHL has raised more than $65,000, the Oil Kings have raised over $1,700.
Moroz is leading the campaign charge, having raised over $1,100 on his own.
“A cause like this will always remain close to me. I have many wonderful memories of my uncle growing up,” said Moroz, who was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NHL draft by the Edmonton Oilers.
“He was such a good guy to be around … a loving father and husband and a family guy with a warm heart.
“It’s brought our family closer. You have to rely on each other through loss of family members.
“It was hard to watch him through the last few years of his life. He went through a lot of suffering.”
The CHL’s league-wide initiative to raise awareness through a campaign like Movember exposes these young hockey players to the reality that cancer can strike men and women young and old.
“Seeing what kind of struggles my uncle went through — it really puts everything into perspective,” said Moroz.
“It changes your attitude when you’re down on yourself for struggling on the ice. You realize you don’t have it so bad.”
Recent ly former WHL defenceman Brandon Davidson was diagnosed with testicular cancer just six games into his first full season as a pro with the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma City.
While all the teams across the CHL have a rivalry, they’re working together on this very important campaign.
“For a young guy like Brandon, it’s scary how close it hits home,” said Moroz.
“It’s a chance for us as young men in this league to come together and raise awareness for those in need.”
To support Moroz and the rest of the Oil Kings Movember campaign, head over to their team’s MoSpace page at http://mobro.co/edmontonoilkings.
MOVEMBER TICKET OFFER
The Oil Kings are offering a special Movember ticket offer available for all home games during the month of November (Nov. 17 vs. Prince Albert, Nov. 20 vs. Swift Current, Nov. 23 vs. Moose Jaw, Nov. 24 vs. Medicine Hat, Nov. 30 vs. Kootenay). For $62, fans may purchase two lower bowl tickets, two Oil Kings Movember T-shirts, and a $10 donation will be made in their name towards the Movember campaign.
To purchase a Movember pack, call 780-414-GOAL(4625) or follow one of the links below for the corresponding game.