Lucan is among four Canadian communities looking to receive $250,000 in arena upgrades and play host to an NHL pre-season hockey game as part of the Kraft Hockeyville competition.
The four finalists were announced over the weekend. Lucan will be going up against High River, Alta., Huntingdon, Que., and Lafleche, Sask.
The three runners-up will receive only $25,000 in arena upgrades.
“We’re already guaranteed $25,000, which is great, we’re certainly excited about that, but we’ve got our eye on the big prize,” said Cathy Burghardt-Jesson, Mayor of Lucan-Biddulph.
“If you’ve ever played in hockey, in a small, rural community, in a small, rural rink, then you need to support us,” she said. “This could be your community. We’re the only community in Ontario that has made it into the final four for Kraft Hockeyville.”
Burghardt-Jesson said Lucan, in particular, has a rich hockey history. It was 65 years ago in 1952 when the Montreal Canadians came to town and played an exhibition game against the Lucan Irish Six to mark the opening of the arena.
“We’ve got lots of OMHA provincial championships,” she said. “You walk into the arena, and you see the walls filled with pictures from years gone by. It’s a great history to celebrate.”
Having San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture on board has certainly helped, Burghardt-Jesson said. Couture played for the Lucan Irish early in his hockey career.
“He has been such a great supporter of our community and our minor hockey system,” she said.
Voting in the competition opens at noon on Mar. 30 at krafthockeyville.ca and runs until 8:30 p.m. Mar. 31. The winning community will be announced later that night during the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
“It’s less than 36 hours of voting,” Burghardt-Jesson said. “I’m telling people, it’s a holiday that weekend, so sit down at your computer with a cup of coffee or a drink and vote. Give me 20 minutes of your time and vote, vote, vote.”