An upcoming hockey tournament is placing its focus on fun first and winning second.
The fifth annual Hockey Manitoba Cup, an adult recreational hockey tournament, is taking place at the MTS Iceplex (3969 Portage Ave.) from April 17 to 19. The weekend features 78 teams from across Manitoba, separated into 10 divisions, playing in a recreational hockey tournament. It’s a competition, but winning isn’t at the forefront of the players’ minds.
"The purpose of the tournament was to acknowledge the adult recreation stream of hockey and acknowledge players that are looking to play after their minor hockey and junior years," said Kyle Prystupa, manager of development and communications at Hockey Manitoba.
Prystupa said organizing a recreational hockey tournament was the best way to allow everyone to have fun playing hockey without being too fixated on winning.
One of the teams participating is the Silver Bullets Hockey Club, a team made up of players from the St. James and Charleswood areas.
"We’re probably going to have 15 (players) on the roster, but that’s including our spares. (We’ll have) more like 10 to 12 that will actually play during the game," team manager Alfred Chan, 54, said.
Prystupa said there will be more than 145 games played during the weekend between the 10 divisions of 78 teams. On April 17, all teams will play their first game between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Prystupa said games will continue that day until 11 p.m. On April 18, games will go from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. April 19 will see games from 8 a.m. to about 6 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend the tournament to watch the excitement. There is no admission fee.
"It isn’t your average hockey tournament or your adult rec hockey tournament," Prystupa said. "We strive for the participant experience. We offer a lot of things your average tournaments can’t and don’t offer, and we’re proud of that."
Teams participating in the Hockey Manitoba Cup can expect to receive entry gifts and a team party with door prizes. Winners in each division will receive prizes and medals, and each winning division team will get a championship trophy.
Prystupa also said teams can also get a chance to win the pro team experience, the newest giveaway at the Hockey Manitoba Cup.
According to the Hockey Manitoba website, teams "can win a chance to be treated like a professional hockey team with a head coach, equipment manager, sponsored jerseys, matching socks, skate sharpening, towel service, water bottles, snack table, and Gatorade".
For more information about the tournament, visit hockeymanitoba.ca/teams/hockey-manitoba-cup