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B.C.’s ‘Hockeyville’ gets a ‘little bit of hope’ from CBC contest – Metro US

B.C.’s ‘Hockeyville’ gets a ‘little bit of hope’ from CBC contest

A city whose entire population could fit comfortably within GM Place will host a Vancouver Canucks game this fall.

Terrace, a city of about 12,000 people located on the Skeena River between Prince Rupert and Smithers, was named Kraft Hockeyville 2009 during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada Saturday.

Terrace resident Barb Niemi said the celebration afterwards involved the whole town.

“We were all honking our horns like somebody just got married. It was pretty exciting … It was awesome. It went all night long.”

Mayor David Pernarowski said he was “thrilled” that the Sept. 14 pre-season game between the Canucks and the New York Islanders will be held at the local Sportsplex, which holds about 1,000 people.

“I’d like to see as many kids as possible take part.”

Terrace, which saw 50 houses evacuated due to flooding in 2007, has suffered economically over the past decade with the closure of two mills.

“We’ve been kicked really bad over the last 10 years,” said Coun. Bruce Martindale, one of the co-ordinators of the city’s Hockeyville campaign.

“We’ve really been hurt … (Hockeyville) is a breath of fresh air and a little bit of hope. We’re going to do something with this. I’m hoping it will start opportunities for the whole town.”

Likewise, Pernarowski, who called the competition “a fantastic spirit-building event,” said he hoped that the national exposure would show the rest of the country “what Terrace is all about.”

Kraft Hockeyville recognizes the community that “best embodies the spirit of hockey and hometown pride.”

The city received almost two million votes in the competition, beating its closest competitor, Humboldt, Sask., by more than 100,000 votes. It is the first time Hockeyville has been awarded to a city west of Ontario.

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