Port aux Basques settles with third place

Mandy Ryan
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Kraft Hockeyville 2008

Winning an NHL pre-season game would have been nice, but placing third in the Kraft Hockeyville 2008 competition is a satisfactory finish for Port aux Basques, according to organizer Andrew Parsons.

Roberval finished the contest with 2,198,665 votes, while Kingsville, Ont. received 1,491,787 and Port aux Basques got 959,312. The top five was rounded out by Pilot Mound, Man. with 558,322 votes and Wilcox, Sask. with 334,630.

The reaction on Tuesday was varied as Port aux Basques placed third in the Kraft Hockeyville 2008 competition.

Winning an NHL pre-season game would have been nice, but placing third in the Kraft Hockeyville 2008 competition is a satisfactory finish for Port aux Basques, according to organizer Andrew Parsons.

Roberval finished the contest with 2,198,665 votes, while Kingsville, Ont. received 1,491,787 and Port aux Basques got 959,312. The top five was rounded out by Pilot Mound, Man. with 558,322 votes and Wilcox, Sask. with 334,630.

"In this contest, there's truly no shame in not winning. For us to even get third out of over 1,100 entries is a huge feat.

"I've taken out of this three months of fantastic memories. I was just so proud to be a part of this great team. Everybody contributed in some way, shape or form. I just feels great inside to be a part of this great team," said Mr. Parsons.

The Port Club was full on Tuesday evening with parents, children and others gathered together to watch the competition results on a big screen during the playoffs. Leading up to the announcement, Shawn (Nate) Anderson and Joe Hinks helped grow excitement by shouting chants about Port aux Basques being number one and creating the wave affect throughout the club.

Loud cheers went up as the fourth and fifth placements were announced. The third place winner announcement brought about some confused looks, followed shortly after with congratulations to the first place winner.

"I remember when I sent off the original submission I thought, 'what's the worst that can happen, that they would say thanks, but sorry?' But since then it sort of picked up and developed a life of its own. Everybody wanted to help. That was in December and the next thing you know, we're all at the Port Club watching the CBC for the results. It went as fast as that," recalled Mr. Parsons.

A lot of memories were made during those three months for the children who are involved with the minor hockey program and for everyone in the community.

"We've done a lot of stuff that a lot of people, towns, will never have happen, like the fact that we had Hockey Night in Canada broadcast from our rink," said Mr. Parsons.

Port aux Basques will receive $20,000 for having placed as a top five finalist. With that prize money, Mr. Parsons said he would like to see hockey hall of fame area set up at the Bruce II Sports Centre.

"We got a lot of great hockey history with which to fill up a good display area. People have a lot of this stuff sitting at home in boxes in basements and attics gathering dust. I want this to be put in a hockey hall of fame," he said.

Mayor Brian Button, who also attended the Port Club gathering for the announcement, said Parsons and the committee did the town proud.

"Surely, we were all hoping for the No. 1 spot, but when we look at the totals, we received close to a million votes - 950,000 plus - we still have to feel quite proud," he said. "The whole thing in this is, you can't talk about how much that the entire province, through the island and Labrador, right across the entire country with Newfoundlanders who have gone abroad, it pooled a lot of people together.

"It pooled our community together and it has been a phenomenal contest. You can't ask for any more than we just experienced through this run. If we were involved in the Stanley Cup playoffs, it would have been no more exciting than it has just been here for the last month or so.

The mayor still considers them winners.

"We have shown what we can do and that we can work together," he said. "I am quite happy and proud of my community, my province and I am proud of the people throughout the country that have voted for us. There are a lot of people that went at this day and night, and they have to be commended for their work."

editor@gulfnews.ca

Organizations: Port Club, NHL, CBC Bruce II Sports Centre

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, Kingsville, Pilot Mound Sask. Canada

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  • Wayne
    June 28, 2010 - 14:29

    it sure was great to be able to participate in this event by voting. it also helped a lot of us get our mind off this long winter!