A Manitoba community is in the running to become the next “Hockeyville,”
St. Adolphe, just south of Winnipeg, is one of four Canadian cities up for a $250,000 prize as part of the annual Kraft Hockeyville competition, to be used toward improving the community arena.
St. Adolphe is up against Bobcaygeon, Ont., Elsipogtog First Nation, N.B., and Lumsden, Sask., for the grand prize money and the chance to host an NHL preseason game.
St. Adolphe’s rink, which residents describe as the ‘heart of the community,’ is in desperate need of a new ice plant, repairs to combat a mould problem, and the addition of a dressing room for female hockey players.
Volunteer Lorrie Stade told 680 CJOB St. Adolphe is a tiny community that could really use the help.
“Our ice plant broke down at the end of January, which is why the whole rally came about to enter into Kraft Hockeyville with our tiny town here,” she said.
“Our ice plant is kaput. A lot of people went back to return-to-play in February, and all of our 170 minor kids, our junior C team, our Eastman Selects AA team, all of our hockey moms, grandpa league, everybody — we were told, ‘nope, no more hockey in St. Adolphe.”
Stade said the $250K prize money would “get the heart of our community beating again” — and St. Adolphe’s cause is attracting some big names, including Hockey Hall of Famer and former Winnipeg Jet Teemu Selanne, who gave the campaign a shoutout in an online Cameo video.
“Ice time is at a premium in Manitoba — everybody loves to play this sport, so we don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Stade.
“We have a lot of kids and a lot of families who come to this place, and not only to play hockey. This (prize) would have this building back up and running, because we don’t have anything else in our tiny town.”
Manitobans can support St. Adolphe’s bid by voting at krafthockeyville.ca beginning April 9.