11/27/2012 10:44:00 PM Face-off Park Board to host ice hockey tournament
Ann Gill Editor
Ice hockey ranks as one of the countries top sports and one poll states it's as popular as basketball.
Locally, the sport is growing and one hockey player has been working with the Coal City Park Board to provide area residents with a place to play.
"A lot of people in the area like to play," said Tyler Valiente, who teamed up with the village last winter to install an ice rink at Campbell Memorial Park.
Unfortunately for skaters and hockey players they didn't get much of a chance to use the rink due to the unseasonably warm temperatures. Valiente and the board are hoping this year is different, especially since they are planning to host their first ice hockey tournament in January.
The Coal City Face-off, a 10-team tournament, is set for the second weekend in January.
"We're hoping to bring people together, have some fun and raise money to pay for our new rink," said Valiente.
At the recommendation of the Park Board, village trustees approved the purchase of a $6,400 rink from Nice Rink, the same company the village purchased a liner from last year to go into a handcrafted wood frame built by Valiente and a friend.
The new rink will feature plastic sideboards and a liner. Valiente said plans are in place to install the sideboards this week so it's ready to go when the cold weather hits. The rink is being moved from Campbell Memorial Park to Lions Park.
Trustee Georgette Vota, chairperson of the village's Park Board, said they also have plans to utilize the wood framed rink in the park. The ice surface will be open throughout the winter for skating and hockey.
The idea for a tournament came from a group of ice hockey players in Wilmington who worked with the Island City Park District to establish a tournament in that community a couple of years ago.
Valiente said they want to keep the first tournament to just 10 teams and are looking to see groups from Coal City, Braidwood and Wilmington come in to play.
The puck will drop at 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11 to start the two-day tournament. Action will continue on Saturday, Jan. 12. Cash prizes will be awarded for the first and second place teams.
A $250 entry fee will be charged to each team of eight. An application form and waiver of liability will be posted on the village's website at www.coalcity-il.com in the coming weeks.
In addition to the action on the rink, those attending as players and spectators will have an opportunity to warm up inside the Lions Hall where food and beverages will be sold.
"This is a first attempt and we hope to have a good turnout," Vota said.