MONTREAL - Quebecers really love their hockey.
Proof of that is readily available in the staging of the 16th ESSO Minor Hockey Festival at the Bell Centre. Forty teams from across the province of Quebec convened in Montreal to play 20 hockey games.
It provided the opportunity for 680 youngsters to hit the ice at the Canadiens' home rink for the first time. Participants from as far away as Saguenay and Rimouski made the trek to attend the two-day event which ran from 7:15 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.
To take part in the ESSO Minor Hockey Festival, teams showcased their creative sides. Youngsters and their respective organizations had to send the Canadiens a video featuring the famous "Go Habs Go" chant. The 40 teams were selected on the basis of their submissions.
Teams were made up of kids of all ages and skill levels from Novice to Bantam.