Hutterite hockey team laces up for final game after a decade in Manitoba

WINNIPEG — After a decade of hockey and breaking barriers, the Baker Storm is lacing up their skates for the last time.

The Baker Storm is a women’s hockey team from Manitoba’s Hutterite community, and every Louis Riel Day it hits the ice for a friendly match while wearing their traditional skirts.

The annual tilt against the MacGregor Iron Maidens has garnered the attention of many curious hockey fans.

“We are grateful to the fans, family, and friends who have shown up and have supported us loudly and enthusiastically,” said Tirzah Maendel, game organizer and Baker Storm player, in a Facebook post.

Maendel said the game has always sparked some controversy within the Hutterite community.

“We welcome your support; your criticism still stings,” she said. “We are open to healthy conversations about how better to navigate and weave sport for everyone into our communal culture.”

It may be the team’s last game, but Maendel is holding her head high.

“We are also hockey players and are as confident, passionate, and as grateful to represent our Hutterite heritage on the ice as any one of the Canadian Junior players representing Canada,” said Maendel.

For the last several years, the game has been a fundraiser for various causes.

This year, proceeds from the game will go towards supporting a local refugee families who are trying to bring a brother and two daughters to Canada.

“Please come cheer for community, clean fun, and fair play–all for a good, worthy cause,” Maendel said.

The game takes place 6:30 p.m. at the Stride Normac Centre in Macgregor, Man.