The event might end up in the red, but it still has its organizers feeling in the pink.
Borderland Thunder president Shawn Jourdain said last Thursday that holding the Dudley Hewitt Cup Central Canada Junior ‘A’ championship here in late April was a good decision despite the possibility the event may turn out to be more of a money pit than a money-maker.
“I don’t know if we’ll turn a profit,” said Jourdain. “But we’re very close to breaking even. Once all the invoices come in, we’ll know exactly what were looking at.
“You’d like to make money, but we just wanted to break even.”
Jourdain couldn’t give exact attendance figures for the five-day tournament, which featured near or complete sell-outs for the four Thunder games and a strong crowd for the championship game, where the Wellington Dukes blanked the North Bay Skyhawks 4-0.
“We did very well for the final, even without the Thunder playing,” said Jourdain, who estimated 800-850 people took in the title game on the Saturday night.
He said plans are in the works to put in another bid for the tournament in two years’ time, although some minor glitches need to be taken care of should the event return here.
“There was some little things that didn’t go so well, like we could have used more time to put the teams’ itineraries together,” Jourdain said about the visitors’ list of activities during their stay in town, including a tour of the Abitibi-Consolidated mill.
“But I feel the tournament ran very well. Every team wrote back with letters after about how well the tournament and the town treated them.”
Jourdain feels the Dudley Hewitt Cup is an important recruiting tool for scouts from different levels of hockey who evaluate the players participating in it, and gave full credit to the people who worked behind the scenes to pull off the tournament.
“Every time you take on a project like this, it’s a lot of hard work,” he stressed. “If it’s not for the volunteers, we couldn’t pull this off. Thank God for them.”
Jourdain also noted the SIJHL needs to play a bigger role the next time one of its league members—be it the Thunder or someone else—hosts the Dudley Hewitt Cup.
“[The SIJHL] kind of just handed the Dudley Hewitt to us [to run],” he explained.
“The success of running something like this again depends on what part they want to play, and how much action they want to take in helping hold the Dudley Hewitt Cup,” Jourdain remarked.