N.S. hockey group withdraws from Hockeyville competition to support P.E.I. rival

HALIFAX — A minor hockey organization in Nova Scotia has withdrawn its entry from a national competition for funding, saying it is throwing its support behind a small P.E.I. town that lost its rink to a fire a few days after Christmas.

Jamie Munroe, a hockey dad with the Sackville Flyers Minor Hockey Association, said when he learned last week that the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre had been destroyed Dec. 29, he decided to take action.

“I was thinking about how they don’t even have a rink now,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “We have two rinks in Lower Sackville. Yes, they need upgrades, but our kids can still play there.”

The winner of the annual Kraft Hockeyville contest, which focuses on building community spirit, will receive $250,000 for arena upgrades and an NHL pre-season hockey game.

Competing communities are awarded points for stories, photos and videos shared on social media. Nominations opened Jan. 1.

Munroe, who works at a sporting goods store in Lower Sackville, said he was at a tournament in Prince Edward Island last weekend with his nine-year-old son Cooper when a man at the rink told him about the fire in Tyne Valley. The man — another hockey dad — told Munroe he was also a volunteer firefighter.

“He sat there and watched his rink burn to the ground,” Munroe said.

Munroe pulled Sackville’s bid this past Sunday, a day after hundreds of people gathered outside the gutted Tyne Valley arena to show their support for the community’s Hockeyville bid.

Munroe posted a video on Facebook showing the boisterous rally in the snow-covered parking lot.

“You can see their rink behind them,” he said in a Facebook post. “They have nominated themselves to become Hockeyville, too. I know a lot of you have been doing a lot to help Sackville become Hockeyville, but … I think the Sackville community should band together with them and help them fix their rink!”

A member of Tyne Valley’s fundraising committee saw Munroe’s post and shared it.

“Next thing I know, it’s blown up,” said Munroe. “It’s blossomed into this awesome thing.”

Munroe said he would like to see communities across Canada get behind Tyne Valley’s bid, and he’s organizing a rally at the Sackville Arena for this Saturday.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help Tyne Valley get a new rink,” he said.

The former manager of the Tyne Valley arena, Adam MacLennan, said it was a busy place, with ice time booked at around 75 hours per week.

MacLennan, a volunteer firefighter, said the fire was intense.

“It was gut-wrenching,” he said, noting that people from the community showed up to watch the complex burn. “It sank everyone’s hearts …. It was like a funeral or going to a wake.”

As the newly appointed chairman of the fundraising committee, MacLennan said Munroe’s actions have energized the community.

“It started getting traction on Facebook that night,” he said. “It’s amazing how hockey can bring people together in a time of need.”

Munroe said the experience has reminded him how the hockey and lacrosse communities in the Halifax region helped him cope after his 23-year-old son Connor took his own life on Christmas Day in 2018.

“They all rallied around me and my family and helped us get through it,” he said. “The Sackville Arena is to us — it’s like our church.”

That’s what initially prompted him to have Sackville entered in the Hockeyville competition.

“I wanted everyone else in Canada to know how much community spirit we have,” he said. “I wanted to give back to my community.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer RCMP seek public’s assistance after fatal hit and run

A male pedestrian was fatally injured Sunday afternoon after being hit by… Continue reading

Oilers 50/50 raffle delayed further as team resolves errors, offers refunds

EDMONTON — A record-setting Edmonton Oilers 50/50 draw won’t have a winner… Continue reading

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Aug. 9

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:50… Continue reading

Liberals turn over thousands of pages on WE decision, lawyers now vetting docs

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government has handed over thousands of pages… Continue reading

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Cast your votes for Best of Red Deer

The Advocate’s Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are back. Community… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake couple donates $850,000 to AACS

The doantion will be put towards a new X-Ray machine for the facility

Call the police if you’re disturbed by noisy vehicles

I’m disgusted at the nightly vehicle noise in Red Deer. Night after… Continue reading

Explosion helps to hasten the meltdown of Lebanon

Beirut has been living with car bombs and air raids on a… Continue reading

Take comfort — it could be hotter

If it’s one thing we humans are pretty good at, it’s complaining… Continue reading

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, dies at age 86

Singer Salome Bey, known as Canada’s first lady of the blues, has… Continue reading

US investigates electrical fires in 2014 Chrysler minivans

DETROIT — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints of… Continue reading

Greece slams Turkish announcement on energy research in eastern Med

ATHENS, Greece — Greece on Monday slammed a Turkish announcement that it… Continue reading

Most Read