Annual Sweetheart Tournament will feature 80 teams

January 15, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Orangeville Sweetheart Tournament will take over all four ice pads in Orangeville as well as some overflow games at other arenas when 80 teams from around the province arrive to compete in the event that will run from Thursday, January 25, through to championship day on Sunday, January 28.

This is the 40th year the tournament has taken place.

The tournament is organized and run by the Orangeville Girls Hockey Association – more commonly known by their team name, the Orangeville Tigers.

“Girls hockey in Orangeville has been running since 1974. The first team was called the Orangeville Sweethearts,” explained association president and former Sweethearts player, Michelle Whyte.

The organization changed the name to the current ‘Tigers’ years ago. No one seems to remember why but the thought is it was just a better sounding name for a competitive hockey club.

The tournament was founded in 1978 when Errol Henry and Mary Wells approached the Sweethearts’ first coach, Jim Cronin, about starting a tournament in memory of his daughter Sherry.

Sherry was a Sweethearts player who died in an automobile accident in 1976.

The tournament will host players in 13 divisions.

“We have over 80 teams, both house league and rep teams,” Ms. Whyte explained. “They range in age from Novice, ages six and seven, right up to senior ladies. Teams will be arriving from all over Ontario. We have tons of support from our community to help make this an amazing event.”

The tournament will be split into house league and rep league with teams playing in round-robin style competition over the four days with the championship games being held

on the Sunday, with gold, silver, and bronze, medals being awarded to the teams still standing.

To make the anniversary tournament extra special there are several extra activities on the slate over the weekend.

An alumni game will take place on Friday night at 8:30 p.m. with former Sweethearts players suiting up for a game.

“We have almost the whole first Sweethearts team playing,” Ms. Whyte said.

Saturday events include a skills

competition where teams can test go head to head and showcase their skills on the ice. There will also be a raffle table with many exciting items.

Games will commence on Thurs., Jan. 25, with a special welcoming ceremony at the main rink at the Alder Street arena on Fri., Jan. 26, at 6:00 p.m.

The Tigers won’t wait long for their next big event. The following weekend, February 2,3,4, they will host their seventh annual Development Stream (DS) tournament with around 50 teams expected to take part.

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