Usually, at this time of year, hockey isn’t the thing we’re all focused on. Most years, we are more concerned about what the weather is doing, and when and if the farmers will be getting in the fields.
But there are years that are exceptions.
2003 was one. So was 2008. And 2009. And so is 2012.
In 2003 and 2008, our Humboldt Broncos won national titles, and the community of Humboldt and area went on that playoff ride with them. They went to the home games, listened to the away games, and some even made the journeys east to see the boys in action, in person. Some event got to celebrate on the ice with them when they won.
In 2009, the boys again went to the national show, and made it all the way to the final. And again, the region went with them. We watched, we listened anxiously, and we felt their heartbreak when they came in second.
In short, this town had hockey fever.
This year, Humboldt is hosting the RBC Cup, the national junior A hockey championship. Which means even more people will be catching hockey fever this spring.
With the tournament happening in our own Elgar Petersen Arena, it will spread like wildfire.
That’s going to be pretty cool, I think.
While many in this area will be cheering for the Humboldt Broncos, there will be fans coming in from all over the country to cheer for their boys, to urge them on to victory, just like we did in places like Charlottetown, Cornwall and Victoria.
It will be our job — that of the community at large — to host them, and to make sure they have a good time, and a good experience in Humboldt.
As long as everyone treats everyone else with respect, it should be a very fun tournament to take in, and a great opportunity to showcase the friendly, fun people who live in this area.
So while we’re in the midst of all this hockey fever, let’s keep that in mind, and show the country what Humboldt is made of: great hockey players, great hockey fans, and fantastic hosts.