New Brunswick town to host World Pond Hockey Championships

Hockey players from across the world will descend on Plaster Rock, N.B. this weekend to lace up for the World Pond Hockey Championships.

The village, which has a population of 1,135, expects to see 120 teams and 8,000 spectators swing through for the tournament. Skaters will compete on 20 different rinks on Roulston Lake.

Plaster Rock first held the tournament more than 15 years ago as a fundraiser to build an arena and it has since grown to attract teams from all over the world.

IRISH HOCKEY TEAM THANKS CANADA FOR PLANNED RINK

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An Irish hockey team says Canada was instrumental in plans to build a new rink for the country’s players.

The Republic of Ireland has been without a permanent rink since 2010, when its last such facility closed down, CBC News reported. Since then, players have trained on temporary rinks during the winter and have used in-line skates during warmer months.

Plans for a new rink started to be laid when a local Irish team — the Flying Ducks of the Irish Ice Hockey Association — visited Montreal to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 2017 and met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The hockey players told the prime minster about their predicament.

Four months later, Trudeau mentioned the rink predicament during public comments he made on a trip to Ireland to discuss CETA. Hockey players credited his comments for getting local politicians on board and plans are now underway to build a new rink.

While lawyers are still finalizing details, the new rink is expected to be built in the same location as the old one that closed in 2010, according to CBC.

Decision coming on Halifax CFL stadium by July 1

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Halifax football fans should know by Canada Day whether their city will get a CFL team.

One of the principle owners of the proposed franchise, Anthony LeBlanc, told the Chronicle Herald that he expects the Halifax Regional Council to consider their proposal to build a new stadium in late spring, and that the group will finalize its plan shortly after.

“Everybody agrees that we have to figure out if this is a go or a no-go by the midpoint of this year,” he said.

LeBlanc and his partners have been negotiating the purchase of a plot of land that they hope will serve as the home of a 24,000-seat stadium for the franchise — the Atlantic Schooners.

The cost of the facility was first estimated between $170 million and $190 million, but the group has revised that amount to $130 million.

The Schooners are expected to start playing in Moncton in 2020, while the new stadium is being built in Halifax.

NHL-sized rink proposed for Jasper National Park

Skaters might be able to take to the ice soon with a view of the Canadian Rockies.

Businessman Rob Olson has proposed building a NHL-sized outdoor rink in Jasper National Park, according to the Jasper Fitzhugh.

Olson took his inspiration for the idea from a similar rink that was built at Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia. Olson expects the Jasper rink would cost $250,000 to build.

Jasper town councillors were set to hear Olson’s pitch on Tuesday.

Teen goaltender makes Saskatchewan junior hockey history

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Taylor Keast has smashed a Saskatchewan junior hockey glass ceiling.

The 17-year-old goaltender became the first female player to dress for a regular season game in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, according to the Weyburn Review.

Keast suited up as a back-up goaltender for her hometown La Ronge Ice Wolves in a game Friday night against the Kindersley Klippers.

“It was pretty cool, I’ve grown up here, so when I was a little kid, I used to want to play for the Ice Wolves,” Keast told MBC Radio.  “It was fun, it was a really good experience.”

The Weyburn Review reported that while this was a first for the SJHL, a female player has laced up her skates to play in the Alberta Junior Hockey League before. Goaltender Shannon Szabados played in the AJHL from 2003 to 2007.