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Bishop's Falls hopes to make Hockeyville history

Saturday, 04.03.2010 / 9:00 AM / Kraft Hockeyville 2010

By Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Bishop's Falls hopes to make Hockeyville history
Bishop's Falls believes winning Kraft Hockeyville is essential to the survival of its hockey arena.
Nova Scotia has hosted Kraft Hockeyville.

So has Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia.

Now, the people who reside in Newfoundland are hoping 2010 is their year.

Bishop's Falls, a town that consists of a little more than 3,000 people, is one of five finalists in the Kraft Hockeyville competition, and hopes to hear it's name called when the winner is announced during CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday night.

The town is up against Cranbrook, BC; Dundas, Ont.; Stanstead, Que. and Lawrencetown, NS.

One NHL player rooting hard for Bishop's Falls is Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary. One of the better two-way players in the League, Cleary hails from Harbour Grace, Nfld. -- which fell short in the 2009 competition.

"I know my hometown of Harbour Grace came really close to winning Kraft Hockeyville last year," said Cleary, who became the first Newfoundland native to win the Stanley Cup in 2008. "That's why everyone needs to get out there and vote to bring the title to Newfoundland and Labrador and the people of Bishop's Falls."

Just for making the top five, the town of Bishop's Falls will receive $25,000 from Kraft. However, a victory Saturday night would mean $100,000 in arena upgrades for Pat O'Reilly Memorial Stadium, which then would host an NHL preseason game this September. The town received more than 293,000 votes during a 12-day span to reach the top five.

For the people of Bishop's Falls, it appears as if being named Kraft Hockeyville 2010 wouldn't just be an honor. It's also a necessity.

"It is a community filled with parents and volunteers who have pulled together for many years to provide their community with a sport their residents truly love -- despite a stadium which is in serious need of repair," local resident Karla Faulkner wrote on CBC's Web site.

Jennifer Sharron, whose son plays hockey at Pat O'Reilly Memorial Stadium, agreed.

"The Pat O'Reilly Memorial stadium is all this small town has to offer our children in ways of recreation," she wrote. "The stadium is in pretty bad shape and I worry, as do everyone else, how long it will take for the town to have to close its doors. I fear it will come sooner than we think."

Follow Brian Compton on Twitter at: @BComptonNHL
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