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Tatamagouche arena in running to win 10th annual contest

TATAMAGOUCHE – The North Shore Recreation Centre is looking for a little help from its friends.

Residents from Tatamagouche and area have shown tremendous support in the community's bid to win Kraft Hockeyville. More than 200 people attended a rally at the North Shore Recreation Centre in January, including volunteer firefighters. This week, more than 600 people gathered at the facility for a show of support.

Well, actually a lot of help - from friends, family and acquaintances all across Canada.

After making it to the top-two spot in Atlantic Canada in the Kraft Hockeyville competition, organizing committee member Marilyn Roberts is issuing a call for widespread support to help the Tatamagouche rink in its bid to win the 10th annual event.

"We all have friends and family and acquaintances from all over the country. So just e-mail them, call them, tell them, urge them to vote or ask them to vote for Nova Scotia or for Tatamagouche," Roberts said.

"Getting the word out is the crucial thing right now."

The Tatamagouche arena has made the top 10 list in the nationwide Hockeyville competition and is one of only two rinks within Atlantic Canada still in the running for the top prize. The other regional arena is in Oromocto, N.B.

"And after the top two are determined it will go to voting again to determine who the winner is," Roberts said.

This year's Hockeyville winner will receive $100,000 plus a chance to host an NHL game. If Tatamagouche were to win, Roberts said the game would likely be played at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre in Truro.

The runner up prize is $100,000.

And while the North Shore Rec Centre would love to claim bragging rights to being Hockeyville for 2016, the money prize is what is most important, she said, because the rink needs to replace its aging surface.

"Vitally important," she said, of the reason for needing the money. "Our rink surface floor is over 40 years old and has to be replaced, like the pipes and everything underneath."

The cost to do the repairs has been estimated at between $300,000 and $500,000.

"We should be replacing it now but of course you have to raise the money first," Roberts said. "We can do a lot of fundraising but the $100,000 would be a great drop in the bucket for us."

Voting begins Sunday at 9 a.m. ET and ends Monday at 11:59 p.m. ET to determine which rinks - one from the eastern portion of the country and one from the west - will compete in the final runoff.

Any legal Canadian over the age of 13 is eligible to enter and there is no limit to how many times an individual can register a vote.

"Go to the Hockeyville website ( and Facebook it and Twitter it and e-mail everybody that you know in Canada," Roberts said.

"And just spread the word. Tell everybody to vote."

The first Hockeyville contest in 2006 was won by Deuville's Rink in Salmon River.

Twitter: @tdnharry


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