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Street hockey paradise this weekend on mall parking lot

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A total of 415 hockey teams will take to the pavement, not the ice, on the parking lot of Kildonan Place Shopping Centre on Saturday and Sunday, for the Hockey Night in Canada’s Play On! street hockey tournament.

Teams from across Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario will be participating in a recreational and competitive four-on-four street hockey tournament which is being billed as the largest hockey tournament of any kind in Manitoba.

Last year there were 358 teams involved in the Winnipeg event.

There are divisions for boys, girls, men, and women of all ages and skill levels.

It is the 10th anniversary of the program which includes the opportunity for the top two finishers in the competitive divisions to move on to the national championships.

Winners and finalists in Elite Male and Female (over-19), Grinders (under-19), and Enforcers (under-17) divisions from this event will be join top teams from 20 other events across Canada to compete for the 2013 Redwood Cup National Championships in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia on Sept. 26-28. Winners of the Redwood

Cup are recognized as Canada’s Greatest Street Hockey Players.

The tournament "was designed to celebrate a version of the game that captures the imagination and innocence of Canadian youth, helping kids to feel like NHL pros and helping adults feel like kids again," a media release stated.

The Thunder Bay Predators, a team of teachers, will be back to defend their title in the Winnipeg event's elite Men’s division.

A new addition this year's tournament is the 10-team UPS Corporate Division. The proceeds from this division will support Right To Play, an international children’s charity.

For more information on this program that is now the largest sports festival in Canada, visit www.playon.ca.

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