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Osoyoos hopes again to make Hockeyville finals
It’s time once again for Osoyoos hockey fans to prove they’re among the most loyal and passionate in the country.
After a labour dispute between the National Hockey League and its players cancelled the CBC Kraft Hockeyville contest last year, the contest is back and bigger than ever in 2014.
Local organizer Cathy Martins, who led the charge in 2012 when Osoyoos made the top three in British Columbia and top 15 in Canada, is urging all local residents to be prepared to cast their votes once again when the national finalists are announced during the broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, March 8.
Martins officially registered the Sun Bowl Arena on the Kraft Hockeyville website in December and since that time more than 250 submissions have been forwarded to the contest website by Osoyoos and area residents.
The top 16 communities – the top eight from eastern and western Canada – that will be in the running to be named Kraft Hockeyville will be unveiled during the Hockey Night in Canada Broadcast.
“The finalists are selected based solely on the submissions presented on the website,” said Martins. “I was on the website recently and we do have some very good submissions presented, including some stories and photos, and I hope that’s enough to get us into the final 16.”
Once the final 16 communities are selected, all Canadian residents will then be asked to vote for their favourite community during a three-day period from March 8 at 11 p.m. until March 10 until one minute before midnight.
All local hockey fans are being asked to wear their favourite hockey jersey and help spread the word about the Kraft Hockeyville contest this Friday, February 28, said Martins.
“Wear your favourite jersey and show how much the people of Osoyoos love their hockey,” she said.
The Town of Osoyoos has also organized a special community event at the Sonora Community Centre on March 8 and all local citizens are invited to come down and listen to the official announcement on Hockey Night in Canada.
Not only will the top 16 communities be announced, but round one voting will commence following the announcement, said Martins.
“The town will set up voting stations with extra computers and everyone there will be asked to start casting votes if Osoyoos makes the final 16,” she said.
Placing in the top 15 in Canada brought a great source of pride to residents of Osoyoos two years ago and it would be wonderful to be named a finalist once again, said Martins.
“We proved we’re a great hockey community two years ago and I’m very confident that we have a good chance to be named a finalist again this year,” she said.
The community chosen to be Kraft Hockeyville 2014 will win a $100,000 arena upgrade and will host an NHL pre-season game.