Whitehorse prepares for Hockey Day in Canada

Organizers of Hockey Day in Canada in Whitehorse say plans are firming up for the big televised event next month.

Rural Yukon fans snap up tickets for WHL game

Organizers of Hockey Day in Canada in Whitehorse say plans are firming up for the big televised event next month.

Yukon's capital city will host hockey stars and TV personalities when Hockey Day in Canada airs on CBC-TV on Feb. 12.

Hosted by Hockey Night in Canada's Ron MacLean and Don Cherry, the all-day celebration of hockey will include more than 13 hours of coverage, including an all-Canadian NHL triple-header.

Local organizing committee member George Arcand said excitement is building for the big event, especially for kids hoping to meet former NHL stars like Wendell Clark and Trevor Linden.

"We see a lot of kids interested in coming to skate with their heroes, so it should be quite a week," Arcand told reporters on Wednesday.

WHL game tickets selling fast

Whitehorse will also host a game between the Western Hockey League's Vancouver Giants and Kamloops Blazers on Feb. 12, marking the first time that a Yukon city will host a WHL regular-season game.

The WHL game will take place at 3 p.m. PT at the Takhini Arena, and will be featured on CBC's Hockey Day in Canada broadcast coverage.

Most of the 1,300 tickets to the game have already been snapped up, with 150 of them sold over the phone to rural Yukoners on Wednesday night.

"There won't be enough tickets for Whitehorse or the communities simply because our arena is too small. However, we'll make the best of it," Arcand said as the phones started ringing at 7 p.m.

The tickets were sold out within 30 minutes. Volunteers fielded calls from people across the territory, including those in Dawson City, Ross River, Haines Junction, Teslin, Carcross, Destruction Bay, Watson Lake and Faro.

All Yukoners will have one last chance to buy tickets to the WHL game on Saturday at 11 a.m., when the final batch of 150 tickets will be put up for sale at Sport Yukon's offices in Whitehorse. Arcand said he expects a lineup.

Something for everyone

Tickets to a Feb. 9 alumni game between the Ottawa Senators and the Dawson City Nuggets will also be on sale on Saturday.

Organizers said there will be many other things to do in the days leading up to Hockey Day in Canada, such as a cultural exhibit at the MacBride Museum and family events at the Canada Games Centre and Shipyards Park.

"It's going to be jam-packed, and I think there will be something for everybody to take part in," said city Coun. Ranj Pillai, a member of the organizing committee.

Amateur players can lace up for some hockey clinics, a school hockey tournament and a number of shinny games being held throughout the city.

As well, there will be plenty of places where people can skate, including an outdoor rink that Parks Canada is installing by the S.S. Klondike steamboat exhibit.

Festivities leading up to Hockey Day in Canada will begin on Feb. 8.