While the 2008 World Junior A Challenge unfolds on the ice at the Edgeworth Centre, there will be a different kind of battle beyond the stands.
During each game, photographs, prints and other memorabilia, some of them autographed, will be up for sale at the silent auctions. Each auction will start before the game and close 10 minutes before the end of the third period. Whoever has the most cash will walk away with the prizes.
All the treasures are being supplied by Ken Roberts, who's been in the auction business for years. He specializes in finding valuable items, framing and mounting them just for auction and selling them at events.
"I'm bringing jerseys from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, autographed items from Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Sidney Crosby, even items from the NFL, NASCAR, and Major League Baseball," he says. "I try to get something that will appeal to everyone and appeal to their wallets as well."
A few local-interest pieces are being made as well. Roberts said that he's having a print made just from Camrose Kodiaks photos and a nostalgic black and white print of the Camrose Maroons. Only those two pieces will be open for auction for the entire tournament.
Roberts expects a high turnout, as the 2008 World Junior A Challenge comes less than two months before Christmas and tournament goers will be looking for gifts and souvenirs from the tournament.
Proceeds from the auctions will be divided between Roberts and Camrose Minor Hockey.
To see what else Roberts has to offer, check out www.memorylanesports.ca.