Another Battle of the Little Big Puck has come and gone in Maple Creek, with the community being the real winner.

Over 400 spectators packed the rink for the annual Cowboys vs Indian game, watching the hockey with standing room only. From the first to regulation periods of the game to the final third period of costumed Cowboys and Indians playing their hardest while decked out in feathered caps and leather chaps, it was the people they played for at the heart of the experience. 

Maple Creek Mayor, Michelle McKenzie, couldn't be prouder of another big year for the largest small-town hockey game in Saskatchewan. 

"They've actually seemed to step up their game, especially with the Indian team," said McKenzie. "One was actually decked out in what looked like a complete leather buckskin outfit like man-made."

For the uninitiated who didn't make it out, the game follows a simple formula and a simple set of requirements. 

Cowboys must be registered with the rodeo, and Indians must have their treaty number. Historically, both groups are from the Town of Maple Creek and from the Nekaneet First Nation. 

The first two periods are standard hockey games. With both teams trying to outdo each other in standard style, wearing regular equipment. In the third period, they come back out from the locker rooms in traditional getups. 

"Outrageous," McKenzie remarked on the outfits. "I'm telling you, absolutely phenomenal, what they did with all the outfits from both the Cowboys and the Indians."

By the end of the third period, hundreds of pucks are thrown to the ice, and it becomes a free for all and celebration of both teams' efforts. 

Each team is then lined up, and the awards for best dressed and other titles are handed out. All the while, the crowd continues to cheer for the teams that played their hearts out. 

"One of the people that had come in was 92-ish, and then we had a brand new baby," said McKenzie. "All ages are at the Battle of the Little Big Puck."

This year, the game helped to raise $1,000 for the Watson family, who is trying to locate and bring home Byron Watson, who has been missing for months now. He was last seen in Maple Creek but has since vanished without a trace. 

"We actually did exceptionally well for the Southwest Trust Board," said McKenzie. "And also for the Bringing Home Byron Watson Fund"

The gate fee and 50/50 went towards the Southwest Trust Board, and from there into the Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility in Maple Creek. Altogether, the Southwest Trust Board received $5,363. 

"If it wasn't for everybody that came out to watch this unique game, we wouldn't be able to provide any assistance or funds for those people that need it," thanked McKenzie.