It’s Hockey Night in Terrace.

Hockey fever was running high in the northern B.C. city as it prepared to host a pre-season game tonight between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders.

The city of about 11,000 was named CBC’s Kraft Hockeyville for 2009 this spring during a nationwide competition.

“It’s a big day for us,” said Bob Park, co-chair of the city’s Hockeyville committee. “I’m as pumped as pumped can be. This is what Terrace has been waiting for.”

There was a festival-like atmosphere in the city yesterday. People wore jerseys and signs were in windows. Intersections were painted: Terrace is Hockeyville.

About 5,000 people flocked to a park yesterday to see the Stanley Cup and meet Hall-of-Famer Brian Trottier and former Canucks Dave Babych and Cliff Ronning.

“The park is buzzing,” Park said. “Even Brian Trottier said, ‘Wow, there are a lot of people here.’ Don Cherry is arriving tonight, Ron MacLean this afternoon. Cassie Campbell is here. The place is on fire and buzzing.”

The area will seat 950 people, Park said. Tickets were doled out for tonight’s game on a lottery basis. The vast majority — 80 per cent — were given to children.

The rest of the city is expected to watch the game, which will be televised on Rogers Sportsnet, on a five-by-six-metre screen in a city park.

Tavares in town?

• There is a chance that Terrace may get to see first-overall pick John Tavares in a Long Island jersey. The lineups will be announced after the planes land, said Bob Park, co-chair of the city’s Hockeyville committee.

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