© Jonathan Riley
Enthusiastic hockey fans poured into the Digby rink for the Canada East versus Russia exhibition game, Saturday, Nov. 3.
A once in a lifetime hockey game is coming back to Digby for a second time.
Last year when Digby hosted the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s Prospects game and a Canada-Russia game, Digby rink manager Danny Harvieux said it was a once in a lifetime chance for area hockey fans to watch this level of hockey.
“This is the first time it’s ever gone back to the same place for a second time,” said Harvieux after the announcement Thursday, Aug. 29 this year. “I was shocked when they told me. They’re coming back to Digby and Yarmouth because it was so successful; plain and simple; financially successful, the players were happy, the coaches were happy, everyone loved it.”
Digby will host one of two Prospect Games with Canada East playing Canada West here on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.
The second game will be held in Yarmouth on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4 p.m.
The winner of the total goal series between takes home the President's Cup.
The CJHL Prospects Games showcase 40 of the top NHL prospects in the CJHL with players from the CJHL's five western leagues competing against the CJHL's five eastern leagues.
Player selection for the annual CJHL Prospects Games is a joint initiative of the CJHL and NHL Central Scouting.
"For a second year the CJHL prospects will compete in front of an impressive audience of NHL scouts in Yarmouth and Digby," said Canadian Junior Hockey League President Kirk Lamb. "The CJHL Prospects Games continue to be a highlight of the CJHL schedule for our players and is heavily attended by NHL teams, major junior scouts and coaches from Canadian and American universities and colleges."
Hockey Canada will announce the coaching staffs in September and they will announce the team rosters for the 2013 CJHL Prospects teams following the World Junior A Challenge Selection Camps at the end of October.
The Prospects Games are held in conjunction with the World Junior A Challenge which is also returning to Yarmouth this year.
Last year Digby hosted one exhibition game from that tournament – Canada versus Russia.
Last year’s World Junior A Challenge included two teams from Canada and teams from the United States, Russia, Czech Republic and Switzerland.
Previous tournaments have included Finland, Germany and Sweden.
The details of an exhibition game haven’t yet been finalized but Digby could very well host Canada versus USA on Sunday, Nov. 2.
Harvieux says if they end up hosting two games, the rink would like to charge $25 for admission to two games. Last year it was $15 for just one game.
“We want to make it easier for people to get out and enjoy this event,” said Harvieux. “We figure we can lower our prices that much and still be okay financially.”
Like last year, admission to the Prospect Game will include the chance to watch the two Canada teams practice in the afternoon.
Harvieux says he has some plans to spruce up the rink a bit more than last year but doesn’t want to reveal much at this point.
He says they’ll be paying extra special attention to the six logos they have to go under the ice this fall.
He has also asked Hockey Canada if some coaches and players could visit local schools to talk about healthy active lifestyle choices.
He is also working on the opportunity to sell souvenir jerseys and shirts, something they weren’t allowed to do last year.
Harvieux says it takes about 100 volunteers and they have most of them lined up to do the same jobs as last year.
“Now that we’ve all done it before, I’m expecting it to be a lot less stressful this year,” says Harvieux. “I’m looking forward to seeing a rink full of happy hockey fans again.”
Tickets to the Prospects Game will be on sale at Digby Arena and at www.hockeycanada.ca/wjac beginning Monday, Sept. 14. Tickets to the CJHL Prospects Game in Yarmouth will be on sale at a later date.
Hockey Canada will be in Digby on Thursday, Sept. 12 to announce more details.