Community spirit is alive during the Memorial Cup

Here we are, right in the middle of the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup and it’s been a rollicking, thrilling ride from the start.

From the first day when the cup actually arrived in Red Deer via military helicopter, which was followed by a parade and a welcome reception downtown at Veteran’s Park, the community has truly come together to host and enjoy this remarkable event.

Last Thursday, which wasn’t exactly a warm spring day, crowds of thousands gathered in the downtown core to see the cup firsthand. It was an exciting event in our City where young and old came to together to celebrate the momentous occasion.

And that was just the start. The next evening saw the first game between our own Red Deer Rebels and the London Knights. The Rebels didn’t emerge victorious, but that certainly did little to dampen the crowd’s spirit. Red Deerians are very proud of their team and that sense of celebration roared on despite that first night loss.

On Saturday night, the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Brandon Wheat Kings.

On Sunday evening, the Rebels took on the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and it didn’t look promising at first with the Huskies being quick to take two goals. But the relentless Rebels came back fighting and the game ultimately ended in a 5-2 victory for the Rebels in front of a jubilant home town crowd.

The energy on Sunday night was nothing short of electrifying, and it’s not very often the Centrium is so packed. It was a great and really unforgettable experience for all in attendance.

Monday evening saw the London Knights stomp the Brandon Wheat Kings in a 9-1 victory.

Tuesday night’s game between the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the London Knights was not over by press time.

Tonight the Rebels are in action again as they face off against the Brandon Wheat Kings who were the team which ousted them back in the play-off rounds. We hope the momentum from Sunday night continues into this evening and the Rebels indeed emerge victorious.

Kudos have to go to the team and to their coach Brent Sutter who has worked so hard over the last several years to build the strong team that he has today.

Another highlight which has proven to be very popular at the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup is Fan Fest, where a number of booths representing a range of organizations has been set up. Saturday saw a visit of the Stanley Cup which drew huge crowds. Another popular aspect of Fan Fest is the Hockey Hall of Fame where patrons are able to sneak a peak of sports memorabilia from years gone by. The Molson Canadian Hockey House has also been the place to be post-game as there is lots of nightly entertainment to enjoy as well.

Starting on Monday a Corporate Road Hockey Challenge started as well which runs through to Thursday. The 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup Golf Tournament is also slated to take place at the Innisfail Golf and Country Club tomorrow as well.

Ultimately, the host committee has done a tremendous job in making sure everything runs smoothly.

At the end of the day, it’s a wonderful thing to have this event held in our City – it’s provided a huge boost in economically tough times and solidified an already powerful sense of community spirit. Red Deerians know how to host events – small and large – and the 2016 MasterCard Memorial Cup has been no exception. And in these times that Albertans face today, it’s nice to have a positive and exciting event in our community for all Central Albertans and beyond to take part in.

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