The NHL announced Saturday that the Phoenix Coyotes will face the Calgary Flames in a preseason contest in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, Canada, which was the winner of the “Kraft 2014 Hockeyville” competition.
In addition to being named the host, Sylvan Lake and its local arena will benefit from $100,000 in upgrades. The community organized several events to gain residents’ support for the preseason game and prize money.
Kraft Hockeyville is awarding a total of $1 million to 16 different communities in Canada as part of the program.
“The passion for hockey is passed from generation-to-generation, and the community rink plays an essential role in that special relationship,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Kraft Hockeyville is committed to keeping community rinks vibrant, ensuring the health of the game in communities large and small. The National Hockey League is thrilled to support and be a part of this wonderful program and we, too, celebrate the communities that make hockey strong.”
In the program’s eighth year, a record-breaking 532 communities were nominated. Sixteen of them moved on to the voting rounds, with Kingston, Nova Scotia, coming in as the runner-up to Sylvan Lake.
“We are very excited to participate in next season’s Kraft Hockeyville event in Sylvan Lake, AB,” said Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney in a statement. “We look forward to celebrating the game of hockey with all the fans in Sylvan Lake and supporting this great hockey community.”
The Coyotes-Flames game will be played in the fall before the start of the 2014-15 regular season.