« We saw lots of enthusiasm even before the tournament began, » said Serge Lavictoire, one of the co-founders of the event. « The vibe inside the arena was just so intense. »
The puck dropped for the first game of this year’s Clarence-Rockland Community Hockey Tournament April 11 at the Clarence-Rockland Arena. The final goal of the last game of the event went into the net April 16. The end result of the six-day event was $25,000 in proceeds from entry fees and other activities shared out May 4 by tournament founders Serge and Luc Lavictoire to seven youth winter sports groups and to the Rockland Food bank.
The community hockey tournament first got on the ice in 1997 with six teams entered. Except for two seasons during the pandemic when all indoor and outdoor organized sports events were suspended for public health safety, the annual recreation hockey tournament has been part of Clarence-Rockland’s spring sports season more than two decades.
This year’s event is described as tournament 24 in the history of the event. Serge and Luc Lavictoire are already planning for tournament 25 next year which will be « a Big Bang event » to mark the silver anniversary of the tourna.ment.
Benefitting from the fundraising efforts of this year’s tournament are : the Clarence-Rockland Lightning girls hockey club, Clarence Creek Castors minor hockey, Rockland Nats minor hockey, the Rockland Skating Club, the Clarence Creek Artistic Skating Club, the Clarence-Rockland Falcons Ringette Association, the Clarence-Rockland Crush, and the Centre d’aide Rockland Help Centre food bank.