O'Leary is so close to becoming 'Hockeyville' that people can taste it

Computers all across West Prince are getting a wild workout as voting reaches a fever pitch


Published on March 19, 2017

Lynn Dorgan, left, and Ronnie Gaudet do their part at the Tignish Cultural Centre to help O’Leary win the title of Kraft Hockeyville. Voting continues until 1 a.m. Tuesday.

©ERIC MCCARTHY/TC MEDIA

O'LEARY, P.E.I. - Hard-wired computers were getting a workout at computer labs in O’Leary, Alberton and Tignish on Sunday as enthusiastic volunteers were doing all they could to help O’Leary win the Kraft Hockeyville 2017 national competition.

I think people can taste it and they’re going for it Della Sweet

Voting got under across Canada Sunday at 10 a.m. (Atlantic) to choose between O’Leary and Ituna, Sask. for the national title.

The two finalists were confirmed around midnight Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada, and the O’Leary committee was already primed to get back to work.

Besides voting going on in homes across the province and the nation, the O’Leary committee had already arranged for voting stations at the Tignish Cultural Centre, Alberton Holland College and O’Leary’s Future Tech West.

Voting turn out last Sunday and Monday was big enough to give O’Leary first place in the East, but now it’s up against just the top team in the West and their volunteers are committed.

 “I think we are going to have a stronger turn out (this time),” said committee member Della Sweet. “I think people can taste it and they’re going for it.”

Ronnie Gaudet, recently crowned as Tignish’s biggest Leafs fan, was at the Tignish Cultural Centre Sunday doing his part to help.

O’Leary Hockeyville committee member, Dean Getson, left, and O’Leary Maroons captain Darryl Donahue congratulate each other on a Super Saturday of Hockey for O’Leary. The Maroons won the Senior hockey championship and O’Leary made it through to the finals of Kraft Hockeyville.
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HOW TO VOTE FOR O’LEARY

1.   Go to www.khv2017.ca

2.   Click “vote now”

3.   Click ‘O’Leary’

4.   Click “vote now”

5.   Click boxes to confirm you’re over 13 years of age and you’re not a robot. Click ‘vote now”

6.   Click the squares as per instructions

7.   Vote.

8.   Repeats steps five and up for continuous voting.

Once users get onto the process, some are managing more than 10 votes per minute.

“It’s nice to be part of this and to help out the community of O’Leary and, hopefully they go all the way to be number one,” said Gaudet, who suggested provincial pride is on the line.

While he’d love to see Toronto versus Montreal or Boston, he admitted bringing any NHL exhibition game to West Prince would be a thrill. And if Toronto played? It wouldn’t matter whom their opponent was, Gaudet said, “as long as Toronto won.”

“I think West Prince would grow a foot,” Gaudet said of the prospect of O’Leary winning Hockeyville.

The host committee certainly was hoping they had the support to see them through to the final round and organized a party Saturday night at the Maple Leaf Curling Club, just in case.
The atmosphere was electrified long before the announcement was made because the O’Leary Maroons joined the party after winning the West Prince Senior Hockey championship in Alberton.

Being named a national finalist just sent the crowd into a frenzy.

“This is so special to have all these people excited about it and right across the country, we know from social media. They’re already on there congratulating us,” said committee member Jo-Anne Wallace.

She took a call from Kraft Hockeyville co-ordinators during the party.

 “They said, what a great effort we had, what a great job we did. Pretty excited for us and said good luck for the next 39 hours,” she said.

Getting to this point assures O’Leary and Ituna $100,000 each for arena upgrades. Still to be decided is who gets the national title of Kraft Hockeyville 2017 and the opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game.

Online voting that ends at 1 a.m. (Atlantic) Tuesday will decide that outcome.

 

Supporters let out a boisterous cheer late Saturday night when the announcement they were hoping for became reality. O’Leary is a national finalist for the title of Kraft Hockeyville 2017. Voting got underway online at 10 a.m. Sunday and runs until 1 a.m. (Atlantic) Tuesday, March 21.

©ERIC MCCARTHY/TC MEDIA