There was a great deal of excitement Saturday night in the southwestern Saskatchewan town of Lafleche when they discovered they were one of the four finalists for the Kraft “Hockeyville” contest for this year.
Gillian de Grauuw says they had no idea they would be in the final balloting until it was revealed on Hockey Night in Canada.
de Grauuw was the one who submitted the bid for the town, located an hour southwest of Moose Jaw, saying it was something she has been working on for a year after another Saskatchewan town competed for the honour.
“We saw what happened in Ituna last year and got behind them”, de Grauuw said. “It was inspiring to see a small community like ours do so well and I thought if they can do it, we can do it.
Ituna got all the way to the final last year before losing out to O’Leary, Prince Edward Island.
Winning the Hockeyville contest would mean $250,000 dollars for arena upgrades and the right to host an NHL pre-season game next year.
de Graauw says if successful, the first thing which would be done would be to get a new ice plant as the one they have right now is barely hanging on, and that if it goes it will be awfully tough for the over 100 kids in Lafleche minor hockey to continue.
Voting for what town will get the distinction of Hockeyville will start on March 30 with the winner announced on Hockey Night in Canada March 31