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Princeton, B.C., looks to Western Canada to help with Hockeyville win

Princeton is in the running for the title of Kraft Hockeyville and a prize of $250,000.
Princeton is in the running for the title of Kraft Hockeyville and a prize of $250,000. Courtesy: Kraft Hockeyville

Spencer Coyne woke up at the crack of dawn Friday, as polls opened for the 2022 Kraft Hockeyville competition, and started voting for Princeton.

“I’ve been voting, and voting, and voting,” he said, laughing.

As mayor of the town that’s been plagued by everything from floods to fires, this early start was a happy change of pace from others in the not too distant past, and one that he knows his fellow Princeton residents were likely doing in their own homes.

Read more: B.C. called upon to make Princeton 2022’s Kraft Hockeyville

“Everybody’s excited,” he said. “It’s abuzz everywhere. We’ve got everybody in town, sharing it, trying to get people to vote all the way across Canada. It’s kind of cool and it’s been a really good morale booster for the community.”

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Coyne doesn’t want to play the hard-luck angle but it’s inevitable. A vast swath of the community’s downtown was decimated late last year when the Tulameen River overflowed its banks, flooding homes and forcing people to evacuate.

Click to play video: 'Lumby unveils Pat Duke Memorial Arena renovations and expansion' Lumby unveils Pat Duke Memorial Arena renovations and expansion
Lumby unveils Pat Duke Memorial Arena renovations and expansion – Dec 17, 2020

The town’s infrastructure was knocked back, and many people lost everything. Others were spared total destruction but were still digging out of impossibly deep mud.

What got them through, however, was the community itself, which saw people chipping in to help neighbours get through it.

But even the most resilient resident can use a break and that’s exactly what the Hockeyville competition is offering.

Read more: Falkland, Oliver, Revelstoke among communities hoping to be next Hockeyville winner

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“Princeton, like so many others, in the last year in Western Canada, we’ve been hammered by natural disasters and we all need a win. And I know my town needs a win, so let’s give it to them,” he said.

Plus, he pointed out, Princeton, B.C., should be the obvious choice for Western Canada.

“I want to appeal to everybody to please vote for Princeton,” Coyne said. “We’re the only Western Canadian team or western town in this competition. Let’s pull together let’s win there for the West and take it home.”

If it were to win, the town arena would get a $250,000 financial infusion that would make a world of difference to the aging facility. The mezzanine and changerooms could use some help with that money, but the roof would likely take the lion’s share.

Click to play video: 'Lumby arena expansion scheduled for spring 2020' Lumby arena expansion scheduled for spring 2020
Lumby arena expansion scheduled for spring 2020 – Nov 10, 2019

Princeton doesn’t only get a bounty of funds and bragging rights if it wins, but also an opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game on a date to be determined by Kraft Heinz Canada, the NHL and NHLPA.

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Other finalists include Douro-Dummer, Ont., Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., and Sydney, N.S.

Votes can only be cast on the website during the voting phase and voting per person is unlimited. The winner will be announced live on Hockey Night in Canada on May 7 following the conclusion of the vote.

For more information, go to krafthockeyville.ca.

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