Moose Jaw residents may see a massive influx of people within the city over the Easter long weekend.
That’s because the 3rd annual Epic Hockey Ice Melt Tournament is returning to Moose Jaw, and this year it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.
“It’s very busy to try and organize this tournament,” says Tournament Organizer, Trevor Weisgerber. “At the end of the day come Sunday it will hopefully be successful, there are no bumps in the roads, and everything will run smoothly.”
Just over 50 spring hockey teams from all over Saskatchewan and a few teams from Manitoba will embark on Canada’s Most Notorious City for the four-day tournament from April 6-9.
The tournament will feature both male and female divisions. In the boys' division, it will feature players born in 2015 (8-year-old) all the way down to 2009 (14-year-olds). Also, there will be a 2011 (12-years-old) female gold and silver division.
“It’s a wide variety of age groups and skill levels. It should be good.”
With that many kids, parents, and grandparents, there will be an immense economic impact for Moose Jaw from this tournament.
“It’s good for the city, hotels, restaurants, and all the other things going on in Moose Jaw,” adds Weisgerber. “People will be shopping, among other things, will be taking the time throughout the day. They’ll play a couple of games a day so in the meantime, they can check out all the things that we have going on in the city.”
In addition, communities around Moose Jaw will benefit from this tournament. Weisgerber is sending a whole group down to Assiniboia to both stay and play there. Also, Rouleau may have to be a tournament location.
Weisgerber says that every hotel within the city is sold-out for this tournament and had to send teams to Regina to find accommodation there.
The community of Moose Jaw has stepped up to help sponsor and promote the event. Subway is one of the major tournament sponsors, along with Visit Moose Jaw, Tunnels of Moose Jaw, and the Crushed Can Rec Room and Bar.
This year, the City of Moose Jaw has left more rinks open for Weisgerber, which has allowed him to bring in more teams.
The tournament will be played at the Moose Jaw Events Centre, the Pla-Mor Palaces’ Bert Hunt and Wally Boshuck Arenas, the Barkman Arena in Caronport, Red Knight Arena at 15-Wing Moose Jaw, and the Southland Co-op Centre in Assiniboia.
There is no cost to get into the tournament, but once inside there will be raffle tables, 50/50 draws, and other prizes that will be put on by each spring hockey team to help generate revenue for their program. Also, concessions will be open at all rinks.
More information on the tournament can be found on EPIC Hockey’s website.
Weisgerber concluded by saying that he is in need of people to assist in the tournament's function. If anyone is interested in a paid position or looking to help with sponsorship, they can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
EPIC Hockey led by Weisgerber helps develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge of hockey in young athletes.