PEI

Tyne Valley among top 4 Hockeyville finalists

After months of campaigning, Tyne Valley, P.E.I. is one of four finalists who will be vying for the Kraft Hockeyville title later this month.

'We’re Tyne Valley, we make anything possible out of nothing'

Former rink manager and organizer Adam MacLennan says many members of the community were at a Small Halls event at Greenpark last night when the announcement was made. They stopped the show so the community could watch it live. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

Tyne Valley, P.E.I. is one of four finalists who will be vying for the Kraft Hockeyville title later this month.

The communities are competing for $250,000 in rink upgrades and the chance to host an NHL game. Tyne Valley has been campaigning for contention since a fire destroyed their rink in December. 

"We were pretty excited when that announcement came over," said Adam MacLennan, former rink manager and member of the fundraising and Hockeyville committee.

"Once Tyne Valley came through, it was just like the elephant was off the shoulders … giddy up and let's go."

MacLennan said his phone has been blowing up with calls and text messages since the finalists were announced Sunday evening. 

Many members of the community were at a Small Halls event at Green Park last night when the announcement was made. They stopped the show so the community could watch the finalist announcement live. 

"We know that waking up this morning, the competition is really just getting underway," he said.

"The four communities that are in the top four are all deserving to be there, we all have a great story."

The other finalists are Twillingate, N.L, Pense, Sask. and Saint-Félicien, Que. 

The Tyne Valley rink was lost to a fire in December 2019. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Funding to replace Tyne Valley's rink was announced last month. The federal, provincial and local governments are partnering to fund the $10.3 million project.

"We're all lucky that the competition is there to give our community the chance to thrive," MacLennan said.

"I think the community is going to come together now more than ever."

Tyne Valley's neighboring community, O'Leary, won Kraft Hockeyville in 2017.

Making plans

Typically a spring event, Hockeyville was postponed this year due to COVID-19. 

Although the community did not want to get too far ahead of themselves, MacLennan said his group has been quietly making plans incase they were in the finals. They're hoping to host some voting stations and viewing parties in compliance with P.E.I.'s gathering limits and the Chief Public Health Office.

"We're Tyne Valley. We make anything possible out of nothing," he said.

"We know that we can do it, but we can't do it alone."

Premier Dennis King said in a news release he could not be more excited Tyne Valley has been named a finalist for the Kraft Hockeyville competition.

"The community has been through so much in recent months and this news is certainly a cause for celebration," said King.

Voting in the next round of the competition opens at 10 a.m. AST on Aug. 14. The winner will be announced Aug. 15.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Wayne Thibodeau

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