It’s the final day of voting in the Kraft Hockeyville competition and we will find out tonight if Ste. Anne takes the grand prize.
Sarah Normandeau is urging all Manitobans to vote for Ste. Anne and help save the Maurice Chaput Arena.
“It’s not just a Ste. Anne, Manitoba, rink,” she says. "We cannot afford to lose another ice sheet for next year. As you know Steinbach is going to be down to one ice sheet, and it affects everybody in southeastern Manitoba.”
Normandeau is hoping they will get a lot of votes from across the province because their arena is used by many communities.
“Many teams come to our central location to play against not only our Aces, but I've had outside teams come in, we have our U17 AAA players coming here in Eastman to play, so it affects so many people,” she says.
Erin Muzyka is part of the team promoting Ste. Anne's bid. She says the grand prize money will really help save the arena.
“We knew we had a great need for this money, so, the timing couldn't have been better for when this contest came around and when we were in the running for it,” she says. “The response in the last three weeks since top four (was announced) has been overwhelming... overwhelming province-wide, countrywide, we're feeling the love everywhere.”
Muzyka says the rink has been important for many generations and she wants it to be around for more generations to come.
“I want my kids, who I know love Ste. Anne, to come and raise their kids here and skate on this same ice,” she says.
Chantelle Proulx is responsible for getting Ste. Anne into the competition and she says now is the time to really push hard for a big victory.
“You know, Manitoba has never had a Kraft Hockeyville winner,” she says. “Let’s do this, Manitoba! Let’s get this!”
Marc Connelly, better known as Crusher, is the voice of the Senior Aces and he says Ste. Anne is all about hockey.
“We’ve got Olympians, you know, some girls, Olympians that we've raised, have gone very far,” he says. “We've got players that have played in the AHL, played in the NHL, Garnet Exelby is one that I played with as a kid and went to the NHL. So, it's fun to see a small town, we’re like 2,000 people here, but we can raise hockey players, good hockey players.”
Unlimited voting continues until 4pm Saturday, and then we find out whether Ste. Anne was able to finish at the top and win $250,000 for arena upgrades, plus host an NHL game.
-With files from Dave Anthony, Carly Koop, Corny Rempel