Residents of an Annapolis Valley village say it is their community spirit that has pushed them to the finals in a faceoff with an Alberta town in Canada's annual Kraft Hockeyville challenge.
Kingston is competing with Sylvan Lake, Alta., for the Hockeyville title, which would bring an NHL pre-season game to the community of 5,000. Voting is open online until 12:59 a.m. AT on Tuesday.
Don Hyslop has been working the computer keys around the clock to try to clinch the deal.
"In the last 24 hours, I've probably voted 18 hours or so," he said. "I had a time out for a little bit of sleep and going to church."
According to resident Mike Glavine, the secret is in the pacing.
"I go on and vote every hour for about an hour just to relax the eyes a bit and get as many as I can in," he said.
Craig Rafuse, the manager of the Credit Union Centre arena, said it is the love of this place and the volunteer spirit that pushed Kingston to the finals. His own decision to step in when the rink got into financial trouble this year is proof of that spirit, he added.
"I have a full-time job at Michelin and took this on just so the kids would have a place to skate this winter," said Rafuse. "I put in a pile of hours this winter to try to make that successful."
Regardless of the outcome, residents agreed the old rink is already a big winner with the guaranteed $100,000 for making it to the final round.
The money will go toward renovations planned for the summer that would see the end of the temporary ice-making plant and two-by-four reinforced boards.