HALIFAX, March 15, 2012 /CNW/ -This year, Halifax will be welcoming hundreds of young hockey players and their families from across Atlantic Canada for the 21st Annual Irving Oil Challenge Cup. For the first time, the Irving Oil ACCEL Major Bantam Hawks team was selected to host the Bantam AAA championship at the Halifax Forum.
"We are very excited to be hosting the Irving Oil Challenge Cup in Halifax - this is one of the most significant minor hockey tournaments in Canada," said Kevin Mitchell, Coach of the Irving Oil ACCEL Major Bantam Hawks. "Our team has been looking forward to this championship all season - for Bantam aged players, it's the most important tournament of their hockey season and this competition will bring out the best in each of them."
"For our team, it all comes down to this tournament - we've been preparing for this for months," said Campbell Pickard, Team Captain of the Irving Oil ACCEL Major Bantam Hawks. "It'll be exciting to compete in front of our home crowd and we are looking forward to the competition that this event offers!"
The Irving Oil Challenge Cup runs from March 29th to April 1st, bringing together top-level Bantam AAA hockey players from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. Irving Oil has supported every team in the Atlantic Bantam AAA hockey league on an annual basis for over 20 years, supporting over 20,000 young athletes in communities across the region.
"We are always pleased to have the opportunity to host a tournament such as this. Hockey Nova Scotia looks forward to welcoming the best Bantam teams in Atlantic Canada and witnessing an exciting and spirited event," said Randy Pulsifer, President of the Board, Hockey Nova Scotia.
"Congratulations to the Hawks for being selected as this year's host team - we know Halifax will welcome the players and their families with the Maritime hospitality it's famous for," says Mike Ashar, President, Irving Oil. "We continue to be a long-term supporter of young people and amateur hockey because we believe in giving youth a platform to showcase their hard work and athletic excellence."
Many NHLers have played in past Irving Oil Challenge Cup championships on their path to the pro league, including Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jon Sim of the New York Islanders and Colin White of the San Jose Sharks.
Newfoundland & Labrador provincial Bantam AAA champions, Mark's Irving Oil Dakota Wild, have qualified to compete in the Irving Oil Challenge Cup, with provincial champions for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI being determined in the coming week.
Families and supporting communities are encouraged to participate in the Irving Oil Challenge Cup contest on Irving Oil's Facebook page (http://facebook.com/irvingoil). When fans of Irving Oil's Facebook page vote for their favourite provincial Bantam AAA champion team, they'll help their province's KidSport organization be one step closer to receiving $5,000 towards youth sports programs and have a chance to win a $1,000 Irving Oil gift card for themselves.
Irving Oil Challenge Cup Schedule (at the Halifax Forum unless otherwise stated)
|Thursday, March 29th||Round Robin Games|
|Friday, March 30th||Round Robin Games|
|Saturday, March 31st||Round Robin Games|
|Awards Banquet (Delta Halifax)|
|Sunday, April 1st||Bronze Medal Game|
About Irving Oil
Irving Oil was founded in 1924 and is a privately owned regional refining and marketing company with a history of long-term partnerships and relationships. Irving Oil operates Canada's largest refinery, in Saint John NB, which is located 65 miles north of the US border and has reached production rates in excess of 300,000 barrels per day. The refinery exports over 80 per cent of its production to the US and accounts for 75 per cent of Canada's gasoline exports to the US and 19 per cent of all US gasoline imports. In 2003, Irving Oil became the first oil company to receive a US Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Excellence Award, for its clean gasoline. For more information about Irving Oil, visit www.irvingoil.com
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