Lethbridge Hosts Hockey Double Feature
In Canada, hockey isn’t just a religion; it’s also a sport.
So it’s no surprise that having the U Sports men’s hockey finals and Rogers Hometown Hockey on the same weekend in Lethbridge, AB drew big crowds.
The Cavendish Farms University Cup was held last weekend at Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, featuring the top eight university teams from around the nation. Although the host team quickly bowed out (the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns lost 7-1 to the University of Alberta Golden Bears), crowds continued to be good during the four day tournament.
The most poorly attended game of the weekend was the Friday afternoon quarter-final matchup between the Carleton Ravens and the University of New Brunswick Reds, in which the Reds won 2-1 in front of 793 fans. Overall, the tournament drew an average of 1,377 per game.
Considering the fact that the Pronghorns rarely draw over 300 to regular season games at their regular home rink, the Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre, the tournament’s overall attendance can definitely be considered a success.
Attendance was most likely bolstered by the presence of the Rogers Hometown Hockey event in the east parking lot of Enmax Centre. Now in its fourth season, Hometown Hockey describes itself as “the ultimate NHL fan experience.”
The tour makes two dozen stops around Canada every hockey season, bringing several family friendly activities and exhibits to local fans. Meanwhile, hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Sloan host the event from their TV trailer, where they interview local hockey celebrities and relate the hockey history of that community to the nation, in conjunction with televised NHL coverage. The Lethbridge stop featured former NHLers Glenn Anderson, Curtis Glencross, and Rich and Duane Sutter, as well as numerous other local celebrities with close ties to the hockey community.
The Hometown Hockey location was filled with people checking things out on Saturday and Sunday, with a number of fans then making their way over to the arena to check out the university championships.
Overall, both pieces of this hockey double bill went well, with good weather encouraging fans to come out and participate. If you find yourself in town next year when either the University Cup is being held or for Rogers Hometown Hockey tour stop, plan to make a pilgrimage.