More than 6,500 players are set to hit the ice on hockey rinks in Ottawa for the 14th edition of the Bell Capital Cup.
The competition runs from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. The tournament will kick off on Dec. 27 at the Bell Sensplex in Kanata with the opening ceremonies and the Bell Capital Cup Fanfest and Esso Friendly Games, which are open to the public.
“This National Capital Region hockey extravaganza continues to showcase great minor hockey action, skills competitions and the Scotiabank/Canadian Tire all-star games,” said Scott Lawryk, general manager of the Bell Capital Cup, in a press release.
The city will play host to 380 teams from 19 divisions for the annual atom and peewee hockey tournament.
This year, teams from Canada, China, Finland, Germany and the United States will vie to hoist the Allen J. MacDonald Memorial Trophy.
“On behalf of the board of directors and our many volunteers, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the minor hockey associations and administrators, players and families who continue to take part in the Bell Capital Cup and build on what is a splendid foundation for this annual holiday tournament,” said Lawryk.
The Ottawa-area will be well represented, with a number of teams competing for the top spot, including the Kanata Blazers, Nepean Raiders, Ottawa Sting, Ottawa Valley Silver Seven and Gloucester Rangers.
“As always, the highlight of the festival will be the 1,000-plus hours of tournament games and the lasting memories they create for all participants,” said Lawryk.
Kanata native and former Sens forward Todd White will again serve as honourary chair at this year’s event.
The Bell Capital Cup’s 19 divisions, including two girls teams, will play more than 800 games on 31 ice surfaces across the city, from Stittsville to Navan. Each division’s championship game will be played at Scotiabank Place.
The board of directors of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival is expecting around 20,000 visitors to the area and about 12,000 hotel rooms to be rented for this year’s event.
Tournament passes sell for $12 and cover all five days. Day passes go for $5 and senior day passes for $3. Children under 12 attend for free. Ticket sales are used to support local minor hockey associations and charities.
The five-day tournament has raised more than $2.4 million in support of minor hockey and local charities since it began in 1999. Last year, $150,000 was raised through Bell Capital Cup initiatives.
For more information visit the website at bellcapitalcup.ca.