Terrier fans can now make plans to watch their favourite team at the 2023 Centennial Cup tournament.
After the news became official this weekend, Terriers' market coordinator Cody Buhler says the excitement around the team has started to ramp up.
"I know that we've been talking about this, basically, since 2020 that we would likely get it back again in 2023," Buhler explains. "Of course, there were a lot of different things that needed to happen. A lot of approvals that needed to be granted, but it's exciting to have this officially announced."
Buhler says people around town were calling this the "Worst kept secret," but he notes it wasn't supposed to remain hidden. The final domino they needed to fall was the approval of Hockey Canada, and that's what they were able to get on Saturday.
He says a vast majority of the staff on the hockey side and the business side were working from the assumption that this would be the case, but Buhler adds it makes their lives much easier having this set in stone.
The marketing coordinator describes the energy at the arena the last time the Centennial Cup came to Portage in 2015.
"I got to be around the building for the entire week, and the energy and the atmosphere were unbelievable. There were so many things going on," Buhler continues. "No matter what the tournament looks like this next time, I know they still have to finalize the format, it's going to be exciting regardless. It's just really cool to see the way this community comes together in a week like that."
In 2015, the Centennial Cup was a five-team tournament, however, the 2022 iteration, which has just wrapped up, had ten teams involved. Hockey Canada has yet to announce how they will be doing things beyond this season, but Buhler had a chance to watch the ten-team format in Estevan this year and shares his thoughts.
"There's definitely some pros and cons to having all the extra teams in town," says Buhler. "As far as the on-ice product goes, it's cool to see more teams from across the country. You may see some teams that you've never seen play before. No matter which way the format goes, we're looking forward to it, and we're excited to host in 2023."
While the Centennial Cup is scheduled to take place in May, official dates are still yet to be determined. Buhler notes ticket packages are also still a few months away from being sold.