Kraft Hockeyville is returning to Ontario.
For the second time in four seasons, Ontario will host the annual preseason game as the town of Dundas was crowned Kraft Hockeyville 2010 on Saturday night.
Dundas, home to fewer than 25,000 people, will host the Ottawa Senators
and Buffalo Sabres
on Sept. 28 at J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena, which will receive a $100,000 facelift -- courtesy of Kraft -- before hosting the NHL teams.
Buffalo also participated in the Kraft Hockeyville event in 2008, when it faced the Montreal Canadiens
in Roberval, Que. Ottawa played in the inaugural game in 2006 at Salmon River, Nova Scotia, also against Montreal.
"They talked about shutting this arena down a couple of years ago … there's no way that's going to happen now," said Barry Forth, one of the 'Gotta Be Dundas' organizers, after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the winner during “Hockey Night in Canada.” "Dundasians are proud people. This goes to everybody."
With 1,066,855 votes, Dundas edged the town of Bishop's Falls, Nfld. (928,044). Cranbrook, B.C. finished third, followed by Lawrencetown, N.S., and Stanstead, Que. Each of the five finalists receive $25,000 for rink improvements from Kraft.
"It's unbelievable," Forth said. "It couldn't have been done without everybody -- all of Dundas. This is unbelievable. It's beyond words, it really is."
Ontario also won the event in 2007, when North Bay hosted the Atlanta Thrashers
and New York Islanders
. Dundas will follow Terrace, B.C., as Kraft Hockeyville after that city saw the Isles face the Vancouver Canucks
"It takes our game back to the grass roots," Bettman said. "It takes us to the communities and the community rinks, where so many families get together and so many kids who ultimately grow up to love hockey and play hockey -- even in the NHL -- first learn to skate. This brings us right back to those roots."
Material from broadcast media was used in this report.