The community of Dundas, Ont., can lay claim to the moniker of Canada's most passionate hockey town after officially winning the Kraft Hockeyville 2010 competition on Saturday night.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement from New York during the final game of CBC's Hockey Night in Canada triple-header involving the Edmonton Oilers and the Phoenix Coyotes.
Selected from the more than 12,500 submissions, the community of about 30,000 located northwest of Hamilton receives an NHL pre-season game played at the J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena, $100,000 in arena upgrades, and a visit from Hockey Night in Canada.
|Bishop's Falls, N.L.||928,004|
HNIC host Ron MacLean revealed that the Ottawa Senators will face the Buffalo Sabres on Sept. 28. at the 60-year-old Ontario arena.
"This is unbelievable. It's beyond words," Barry Forth, organizer for the Dundas bid, told the CBC's Scott Regehr. "It couldn't have been done with out everyone's [help]."
Forth was among the throng of supporters who broke out in celebration once the announcement was made. Forth said the money used for renovations will save the Hamilton region's oldest arena.
"They talked about shutting down this arena a couple of years ago," he said. "There's no way that's going to happen now."
Cassie Campbell-Pascall of Hockey Night in Canada disclosed three of the five finalists before Bettman opened the envelope containing the name of Dundas, which won by more than 100,000 votes ahead of the second-place finisher, Bishop's Falls, N.L.
Canadians voted for their favourite community online at CBCSports.ca/hockeyville, by text message and by phone.
The CBC and NHL sent one of their well-known personalities and alumni to each of the five finalist communities:
- Tom Harrington and Darren Langdon in Bishop's Falls, N.L.
- Colleen Jones and Georges Laraque in Lawrencetown, N.S.
- Dan Seguin and Rejean Houle in Stanstead, Que.
- Scott Regehr and Curtis Joseph in Dundas, Ont.
- Mark Connolly and Dave Babych in Cranbrook, B.C.
The other four finalists will receive $25,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft.
The previous winners were: Terrace, B.C. (2009), Roberval, Que. (2008); North Bay, Ont. (2007); and Salmon River, N.S. (2006).