The 10 finalists for this year’s Kraft Hockeyville contest have been announced and two Saskatchewan communities are on the list.
Ituna and Wilkie are both vying for the Hockeyville crown. The winner will get the title, along with a chance to host an NHL preseason game.
The top two communities selected through online voting will also get $100,000 each towards arena upgrades.
Adrienne Ivey, who co-owns a ranch near Ituna with her husband, said the money would be a major boost as the town’s current rink will soon need to be torn down due to a failing roof.
“There is just no way around it. We need to build a new structure and this kind of award will be the difference of hockey in Ituna or not in the future,” she said during an interview on Gormley Tuesday morning.
Ivey said a win by Ituna would also correct a longstanding injustice – no Saskatchewan community has ever managed to bring home the title, despite the fact 32 of the NHL’s 690 active players hail from the Land of Living Skies.
“I’ve heard the stat many times that, per capita, Saskatchewan produces more NHL players than anywhere else in the world and yet, we’ve never had a town named Hockeyville. So let’s band together and make it happen this year,” she said.
Ituna is located around 135 kilometres northeast of Regina.
Voting runs online until March 13.