Wild looking forward to Maritime hockey tournament

Nick Moase
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The Lucy's Locker South Shore Wild season may be over, but they still have one more big event coming up. 

The South Shore Wild are hosting a charity game on Oct. 24, to raise money for the Kidney Foundation.

Next month from March 26 to 30 the team and Liverpool will host the Maritime Hockey North Junior C Tournament.

"We're really excited to be bringing this into the community," says Shelly Whynot, spokesperson for the South Shore Wild.

Coming for the tournament are the top Junior C teams from the four Atlantic provinces and Nunavut, as well as the South Shore Wild since they are the host team. They don't know exactly which teams as of yet, due to playoffs still taking place, but they will find out in the coming weeks.

Since the Wild eliminated from the playoffs it gives the home team the time to rest and practice to build up the team for the tournament.

"Our goal is to put a good team on the ice for the Maritimes. We want to be able to compete," says Whynot.

This year the season got off to a rough start for the team, and they had issues with player dedication.

Liverpool is in a challenging spot for Junior C Hockey, since most teams are near urban centres says Whynot. She adds The exception is Barrington, however that team draws from a strong minor hockey program, and most players come from that area.

The Wild team is made up of players from all over South West Nova Scotia, which creates challenges with travel.

However Whynot says the coaching staff has put in a lot of work to get a solid lineup.

The other big challenge is raising the funds necessary to host the tournament. It takes about $20,000 to put on a tournament such as this, and the cost is over and above the $45,000 that it takes to operate during the regular season.

They haven't quite hit their target yet, but with a bit more canvassing and government grants they hope to hit that goal. However Whynot says the support they have gotten has been excellent.

"We cannot stress enough that we would never be able to make this happen if it wasn't for the community backing us," she says.

The executive in charge of bringing the tournament here is small, with just 10 people including the coaching staff. Whynot says it's been a big process, but things are coming together well.

Once here, the tournament will be audio livestreamed, which Whynot says is especially important for the northern communities.

"In Nunavut they are really into it. It's a huge deal for them to come down to Nova Scotia," she says.

To keep people informed of their progress leading up to the tournament, a Facebook page and webpage also recently went live. This will also be the hub of information when the tournament takes place. Those can be found at www.maritimehockeynorth.com, or by searching Maritime Hockey North on Facebook.

Week passes will be coming out soon, for the full five days of hockey. It includes 13 regular games, the semi-finals and the championships, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Those tickets will cost $30 each.

The group is still looking for volunteers for the event as well, to work security, the doors and sell 50/50 tickets. To volunteer, contact Whynot at 356-2398.


Organizations: Maritime Hockey North on Facebook

Geographic location: Liverpool, Nunavut, South West Nova Scotia Nova Scotia

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