It was a success in everyone’s eyes.
That was the message voiced by the OFSAA hockey tourney committee and town council when committee co-chairs Greg Ste. Croix and Terry Ogden appeared at Monday night’s council meeting to thank the Town of Fort Frances and all its residents for making last week’s event go as well as it did.
“As co-chairs of the OFSAA hockey tournament committee, we’d like to thank the Town of Fort Frances for the support you gave us financially and through staff, as well, especially George Bell and Graham Matheson at the arena,” said Ogden.
“The staff went the extra mile to make things work.”
Ogden also noted local firefighters should be commended for volunteering their time as a first response medical team during the entire tournament.
“One of the first questions that comes up at the coaches meeting is ‘What are your procedures for injuries?’ And as soon as we said we had firefighters there, you would sense relaxation from the other coaches,” he remarked.
Ogden also said the committee got an “overwhelming” response both from event sponsors and volunteers, and thanked the business community for being welcoming to all the out-of-town guests.
He also said he’s gotten nothing but positive feedback so far from players, coaches, and parents who came to Fort Frances for the 20-team tourney, and has been “inundated with e-mails.”
“The kids felt welcome in your city, and loved having the crowd cheer for them in each game,” said Ogden, reading an e-mail from a visiting coach.
“As they drive through Northwestern Ontario in the future, know they’ll have fond memories of their time spent in Fort Frances,” it continued.
No stranger to high school athletics and OFSAA himself, Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft applauded the Muskies for the efforts in the provincial showdown.
“Once again, they brought great heart, great class, and great representation of this community,” he remarked.
He also congratulated the conveners.
”I’ve been involved in OFSAA for a very, very long time as a convener and coach. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen an OFSAA tournament run so well,” said Coun. Wiedenhoeft.
“Kudos go out to your committee for doing a marvelous job, to all the sponsors for getting behind this tournament, and first and foremost, to all the citizens and fans,” he added.
“Fort Frances should be proud for putting on a marvelous, miraculous tournament.”
Mayor Dan Onichuk added he felt the media—in particular B93•FM, Shaw Cable, and the Fort Frances Times’ web design team—did a great job covering the event.
Coun. Todd Hamilton said one of the regrets he still has from his Muskie hockey days was not being able to play in the provincial championship on home ice.
“I remember the day we won the gold medal in Oakville,” he remarked. “And every team that played [here] will remember this. You guys gave those boys a great gift. They will remember it.”
“They’re memories for a lifetime,” agreed Ogden.