For the second year in a row, a small Saskatchewan town has come up short of being named the Kraft Hockeyville winner.
Last year, Ituna was runner-up to O’Leary, P.E.I. This year, Lafleche lost to Lucan, Ont.
Lafleche campaign co-ordinator Gillian de Graauw said the town will know the exact number of votes each finalist received in about a week.
“I don’t know if I want to know or don’t want to know,” she said. “Whether we put in a good run and we were close, or if we weren’t — either way, it’s sad.”
Despite the outcome, de Graauw said around 700 people came together to celebrate at the Lafleche rink when the winner was announced Saturday night.
“What a party! Regardless of the outcome, we celebrated our accomplishment in true Lafleche fashion and enjoyed the rink and each other’s company,” wrote a post on the Lafleche Community Center Facebook page.
“We’ll always be Hockeyville to us.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!! We will always be Hockeyville in our hearts. Congratulations…
Even though Lafleche isn’t getting the grand prize of hosting a pre-season NHL game and $250,000, the town of around 400 people still gets $25,000 in arena upgrades.
According to de Graauw, that money will go towards fixing up their current ice plant, instead of buying a new one.
“The dream was, if we won, we were going to buy one that would work for the curling rink and the hockey rink, and it would be nice and big,” she explained. “But now, we’re going to have to scale back a bit.”
Lafleche is located about 135 kilometres southwest of Moose Jaw.