It's only 66 days away and the Pembina Valley is gearing up for the 2017 Esso Cup.
"I think right now everything is on track. We are getting a lot of interest from the business community and volunteers. I feel really good about we are at," explained chair of the host committee Clare Agnew.
This is one of the bigger events the City of Morden has undertaken in recent years, and with big events, the need for funding and volunteers is always there.
"We were fortunate enough to get a few grants that we had applied for, as well as our local business community, was very supportive for our sponsorship," said Agnew. "I'd say with volunteers, a lot people are talking about it, but a lot of people have a hard time actually going on the computer and registering. I'm going to ask that people make sure that they register if they are interested. To just tell someone when you're passing them in the grocery store isn't good enough. We need you to register.
The six team tournament will feature teams from the Atlantic, Pacific, Quebec, Ontario, West, and a host team (Pembina Valley) and as of right now the only team the committee knows is coming is the host Pembina Valley Hawks.
"Our ticket sales are slow right now, but we expect that because we don't even know who's coming to play," Agnew said. "We know that when the teams qualify those people will bring some fan support with them and we know they will be purchasing some tickets. That would be one of my unknowns, is the ticket sales. Hockey Canada ensures me that this is normal for these events until the teams start to qualify and you start to know who your teams are going to be."
A pass for the entire week of games is $60, which allows you to watch 19 exciting games throughout the week. That's only $3 a game!
Each team coming to play in the tournament will be receiving their own team bus and host for the week. Agnew noted it's their goal to have the teams visit a number of regional landmarks to get a taste of what the Pembina Valley is all about.
The tournament will get underway Sunday afternoon, with the first game being played between the Ontario and Quebec representatives.
Pembina Valley's preliminary game schedule is as follows;
- Game 1: Hawks vs. West at 7:00 p.m. Sunday April 23rd
- Game 2: Hawks vs. Pacific at 7:00 p.m. Monday April 24th
- Game 3: Hawks vs. Ontario at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday April 25th
- Game 4: Hawks vs. Quebec at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday April 26th
- Game 5: Hawks vs. Atlantic at 7:00 p.m. Thursday April 27th