Hockey is set to be celebrated next weekend in Abbotsford, as Rogers Hometown Hockey returns to Exhibition Park on Dec. 14 and 15.
Hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will be on site for the festivities, which include meet-and-greet opportunities with NHL alumni Darcy Hordichuk and Nathan Lieuwen, live local entertainment, and the live Sportsnet NHL broadcast.
Hordichuk spent two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, and suited up for 542 National Hockey League games with the Canucks, Atlanta Thrashers, Phoenix Coyotes, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers. He collected 20 goals, 21 assists and 1,140 penalty minutes during his run.
Lieuwen, an Abbotsford goalie product, played seven games with the Buffalo Sabres. He also starred for the Western Hockey League’s Kootenay Ice and also played in both the American Hockey League and the ECHL.
Other special guests at the festival include: former Canucks great Darcy Rota and Aldergrove’s Sarah and Any Potomak of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Slone will also be producing a feature on Abbotsford’s Mackenzie Skapski, the former New York Rangers goalie who is now playing professionally in Slovakia.
The two-day hockey festival begins on Dec. 14 at noon and will conclude on Sunday evening following the Rogers Hometown Hockey outdoor viewing party. The evening’s broadcast gets underway with a special pre-game show hosted by MacLean and Slone live from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio beginning at 4:30 p.m. followed by a showdown between the Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights.
The free event features a number of activities for all to enjoy including:
Rogers Fan Hub: Celebrate more of the game that brings us together with fun and interactive hockey experiences. Fill out your Fan Profile for a chance to win exclusive Rogers Moments, enjoy autograph signings with NHL alumni Darcy Hordichuk, test your stickhandling with the Infinite Dangles challenge, and grab some free popcorn.
Sportsnet Shooting Accuracy Game: Fans race against the clock to snipe as many targets as possible before time runs out. A digital scoreboard tracks the best scores from the day, and from the other Tour stops across the country. Players of all ages can show off their hockey skills and see how they match up to NHL stars and alumni with fantastic prizes to be won.
Steve Goodtime Rockin’ Hockey Show: Come see Steve Goodtime, a world-renowned hockey acrobat. Steve performs his incredible family-friendly rock n’ roll hockey show packed with fire, juggling, stunts, and guitar solos.
Scotiabank Community Hockey Rink: An outdoor hockey space designed to engage hockey fans who can interact with NHL alumni Nathan Lieuwen and celebrate the game. Scotiabank will also be donating $15,000 in support of kids’ community hockey at each tour stop this season.
Hyundai Drives Hockey: Hyundai displays on festival grounds will feature games and challenges for kids and parents alike. Opportunities to test-drive and interact with the entire range of five Hyundai SUVs will demonstrate how Hyundai is made for those who drive hockey. Fans will have the chance to win on-site giveaways, weekend prizes as well as an overall grand prize for the season.
Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria: Fans can enjoy a complimentary slice of Giuseppe Pizzeria pizza fresh out of the oven, and learn more about the Find Giuseppe contest with many great prizes to be won.
Playmobil Kids Zone: Fans have the chance to face off against friends and family with the Playmobil NHL Arena and its lineup of NHL figures. In the zone, fans will also be able to enter to win an NHL playset.
Sobeys Community Barbeque: Sobeys supports the Community Barbeque through a food donation. All funds raised will go towards supporting the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and Abbotsford Female Minor Hockey Association.
Live Local Entertainment: Live music featured throughout the weekend beginning with The Whiskeyjays performing on Saturday followed by Kyler Pierce on Sunday.
Through Rogers Hometown Hockey, Rogers and the NHL are also providing grants covering the install of an innovative, multi-use sport net for Abbotsford. This unique system enhances community spaces, transforming a single-purpose basketball net into a multi-sport structure, promoting healthy and active lifestyles while also reducing costs and barriers so families can play sports year-round.
Additionally, Ted Rogers Community Grants are being awarded to local educational programs that enable Canadian youth to succeed inside and outside the classroom. Abbotsford Youth Commission has been awarded $10,000 to identify, promote, improve, increase and provide services and programs for youth in Abbotsford.
This marks the second time that Abbotsford has hosted Rogers Hometown Hockey, with the previous visit occurring in 2016.