40th annual Esso Minor Hockey Week ready to begin

Hockey Calgary and Imperial Oil are pleased to announce the kick off to the 40th Annual Esso Minor Hockey Week. This year the tournament is running between Jan. 12 – Jan. 19, 2019.

The 2019 edition of Esso Minor Hockey Week celebrates the 40 year history of the event, which continues to be a flagship program for Hockey Calgary. Along the way Hockey Calgary was able to secure the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Ice Hockey tournament” back in 2007, hosting 664 teams and over 11,000 players.

This year’s event will feature approximately 12,000 kids, 655 teams, 900 games, 2,600 coaches and 4,000 volunteers throughout the week, with 60 new champions being crowned at when all is said and done. The action kicks off Saturday morning with a total of 307 games on tap for the first 24 hours.

Throughout its 40-year history, Esso Minor Hockey Week has had countless players, coaches and volunteers participate in the event. Some have gone on to hockey greatness and played in the NHL, while many still reside in and around the Calgary area. The latter are now business and community leaders that still speak fondly of their memories of Esso Minor Hockey Week.

“This event has prospered for 40 years due to the great partnership with Imperial Oil (Esso). Imperial Oil continues to support minor hockey in our City and we are thankful to have such a great community partner. The brand Esso has become synonymous with hockey in Calgary and we appreciate all that they do for our hockey program,” said Kevin Kobelka, Executive Director of Hockey Calgary.

“We would also like to thank our great volunteers for their continued support. Hockey Calgary is a volunteer-driven program, and we could not run the programs we do without the tremendous passion and commitment from our volunteers. It once again proves how EMHW is a community event not just a hockey event.”

The opening ceremonies will take place on Saturday at Flames Community Arena, which hosts two exciting events.

CELEBRITY GAME

Rob Kerr’s Media All Star Team faces off against Jamie Macoun’s Flames Alumni for an exciting Harlem Globetrotters style hockey showcase. Puck drop is at 3:15 P.M.

This game will be played half ice and will showcase the new rules for Novice Hockey implemented by Hockey Canada for the 2018-19 season. As has occurred all season, Minor Novice teams will be split in half and there will be two half-ice games played simultaneously throughout the hour.

EMHW FEATURE GAME

At 4:30 p.m., following the opening ceremonies, the EMHW Feature Game showcasing teams from Minor Novice Division 3 (Lake Bonavista vs Northwest Warriors).

Admission to both Esso Minor Hockey Week feature games are free to the public but fans are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item as a ticket to the game to support community families that are in need. All food items will be donated to the Calgary Food Bank.

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