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Cobden Arena misses out in Hockeyville Top Two

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

The Town has launched an ambitious social media campaign in its bid to win the Kraft Hockeyville contest

The Town has launched an ambitious social media campaign in its bid to win the Kraft Hockeyville contest

It was not the outcome that minor hockey players in Cobden were hoping for after it was announced Saturday night that the Astrolabe Arena was not one of the two finalists in the Kraft Hockeyville 2017 competition.

O’Leary, P.E.I., and Ituna, Saskatchewan were the two lucky communities to advance out of the top 10 and into the final round of voting which took place Sunday and Monday. The winner, who will host an NHL pre-season game or receive $100,000 in arena upgrades, will be announced on April 1.

As one of the top 10 finalists out of a total of 2,946 nominations, the Cobden Astrolabe Arena will still receive $25,000 that will go to improve the facility so it is more accessible and inclusive to the entire community.

“It was a bit of a letdown but still a positive experience overall,” said Chris Pleau, who led the Hockeyville campaign. “It's just amazing that Kraft does this for hockey and for small communities across Canada.”

The other contenders were Collingwood, Ontario, Saint-Ambroise, Quebec, Bay Roberts, Newfoundland and Labrador, Courtenay, British Columbia, Maskwacis (Ermineskin), Alberta, Didsbury, Alberta and Wilkie, Saskatchewan. Kraft did not release the vote totals after the announcement which was made on Saturday night's broadcast of “Hockey Night in Canada.”

Pleau, who coaches the Ottawa Valley Thunder peewee girls, said this was a positive experience for his team. He said his players can take home the fact that they will be leaving a legacy in upgrades for the popular community arena.

“They will get a lifetime value out of seeing what did for their rink,” said Pleau.

The nomination proposal was written by Thunder team captain Emma McGrath and members of the squad. Pleau credited that nomination and a professional video created by Matt LeMay as two factors that attracted judges to their submission.

“It was a pretty cool experience for our girls and I think we put in a good showing for our area,” he added.

The initial voting round on March 12-13 attracted support for the arena from not just around Renfrew County but eastern Ontario. Pleau said they received voter support from as far away as British Columbia.

“It created positive buzz for the area,” he said. 

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