It was a special night that saw hundreds fill the Princeton arena for a charity hockey game that raised nearly $6,000 in memory of 25-year-old player and Princeton Posse coach Morton Johnston who died suddenly on March 26.
Former and current players from the Penticton Silver Bullets senior men’s hockey team and Princeton Posse players came together Sunday, April 9, to partake in the event.
An estimated 250 to 300 people attended the charity game at the Princeton and District Multipurpose Arena, with donated funds reaching more than $5,600 for the Johnston family.
“It was a special night,” said Matthew Fraser, the Silver Bullets captain. “It was about getting everyone together in the arena and paying tribute to the great man that Mort Johnston was and the great family that the Johnston family is.”
Morton Johnston both served as an assistant coach for the Posse and played for the Silver Bullets during the 2022-2023 season.
He was killed in a car crash off Old Hedley Road near Princeton, prior to a Posse playoff game and days before the Silver Bullets were set to play for BC Hockey’s Coy Cup in Quesnel.
Penticton withdrew from the tournament, as a result.
Moving forward, Fraser says a Johnston jersey will be displayed behind the Silver Bullets’ bench for each of the team’s games.
His No. 18 has also officially been retired by the Penticton senior men’s squad.
Sunday’s charity game was not the last time the Posse and Silver Bullets will come together to honour Johnston, according to Fraser.
He says the game will become an annual tradition, played on or around the same springtime weekend every year.
Dean Johnston, Morton’s father, and Dan Hillman, the late coach’s brother-in-law, were joined by the Posse organization and other community members in leading efforts in making the Princeton-based event a reality.
“They came into the locker room after the game and said that almost $6,000 was raised for the family to help with events moving forward,” Fraser said. “We were pretty blown away to have our group be part of something like that and to be able to raise that kind of money for such a great family.”