North Saanich is Hockeyville

Panorama's Arena B named one of two Kraft Hockeyvilles across Canada. Now in the running for an NHL preseason game.

Dawson Bikadi and Tonya Warren celebrate at Panorama's Arena B Saturday night after the rink was named one of two Kraft Hockeyvilles in Canada

Jason Fletcher laughed with what breath he had left after celebrating Panorama’s Arena B being named one of two Kraft Hockeyvilles in Canada Saturday night.

“It’s just amazing. I just don’t even know what to say,” said Fletcher, the one behind the initial nomination of the rink in the nationwide contest. “I can’t believe how many people got behind this thing.”

The top two finish, announced Saturday night during Hockey Night in Canada, earns the North Saanich rink $100,000 for improvements — and now the voting begins all over again.

“The work is just starting now,” Fletcher continued. “We get to vote for the next 48 hours. I am just freaking out right now.

“This is our chance to bring the Benn boys back home. I know it’s not a given but it just makes perfect sense.”

He’s referring to former Peninsula hockey products Jamie and Jordie Benn, who now play for the Dallas Stars. People gathered at the rink Saturday night to watch Dallas play Vancouver — and await the Hockeyville announcement — and Benn scored the opening goal of the game.

“It’s just amazing.”

Voting started right after the announcement as Panorama from the west and Chatham Memorial Arena in Chatham, Ontario from the east. The top vote-getter will be announced next Saturday night — and they will win the NHL preseason game.

Fletcher said the campaign brought together people from the hockey community — and plenty of other people unrelated to the hockey world.

“I am so proud right now of our community,” he said.

Wayne Ruffle, chair of the Peninsula Recreation Commission, said the win was unbelievable.

“Everybody did so much work to make this happen. I felt that we were going to win.”

Ruffle said if people keep voting over the next two days, Panorama will win the NHL game. Voting for Hockeyville — at khv2015.ca — ends Monday night, March 30, and supporters are hoping people vote as often as they can.

“The community … it was an Island effort,” Ruffle added. “That’s what we gotta do for the next level, to get that hockey game.”

Fletcher said he realistically didn’t think the rink would make it this far. In fact, he said things were really quiet before Saturday night. He said, however, the win shows people got behind the effort and volunteers with local hockey organizations, Panorama Rec. and more showing their support.

Now, he said people need to vote — and vote often.

“Vote, Vote, Vote. We want to bring the NHL. We’ve got the most amazing gift from Kraft, it’s going to go so far.”

Fletcher added now the community needs to ramp it up. He said there will be another celebration next Saturday. Watch for more details as they become available.

 

Just Posted

Witnesses wanted for Sidney crash

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Sidney house fire caused by unattended appliance

Saanich Peninsula fire crews were called to a kitchen fire in Sidney… Continue reading

Feasting geese concern farmers

For farmers on the Saanich Peninsula, cereal crops like corn are starting… Continue reading

Cycling Without Age raises funds for program

Free rides for seniors coming to Sidney

New stage highlight of Brentwood Bay Festival

Peninsula Country Market vendors and music accompany start of summer celebration

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Vancouver Island couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

It may be ‘lights, camera, action!’ for talented B.C. doctor

Rob Forde is waiting to hear if he’ll become The Basement Doctor in his own reality show

Most Read