A week after Clinton became the 2018 Kraft Hockeyville USA winner by outvoting every other community ice rink in the country, the partners who sponsor the contest praised the area for its enthusiasm.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced the decision during a broadcast on NBC after the first period of an NHL playoff game. Kraft Heinz, the NHL and NHL Players’ Association, in a news release issued shortly after, complimented the Clinton community on its show of support for hockey.
“After weeks of rallying and online voting, Clinton rallied together to prove exactly why they are the most spirited hockey community in America,’’ the release read.
Clinton won $150,000 in upgrades to the Clinton Arena, built in 1954, is listed on the National Historic Register. In addition, an NHL pre-season game will be played at the Arena, or elsewhere if needed, in September or October.
Representatives of Kraft Heinz, the NHL and NHLPA spent a day in Clinton last week touring the Arena and meeting with those who helped pull together the big win.
On Easter Sunday afternoon, Clinton was named one of four finalists for the honor of becoming Kraft’s fourth Hockeyville in the United States. Canada has had a Hockeyville since 2006.
Clinton received the most votes in a 35-hour period of voting to win the title. “After an exciting face-off between our top four contenders, we’re thrilled to award Clinton the title of ‘Kraft Hockeyville USA 2018,’” said Michelle St. Jacques, head of brand marketing and R&D. “Clinton brought to life the essence of this program – both on and off the rink – and showed inspiring passion to rally their community. We’re excited to celebrate this win with them later this year.”
The runner-up, Brandon Valley in Brandon, S.D., will receive $30,000 to use toward rink upgrades, and George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum in Shreveport, La. and Mem-orial Sports Center in Middlebury, Vt. will each receive $10,000.
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