Rogers Hometown Hockey is rolling into the City of Lacombe and the Lacombe Generals are excited to showcase their brand of hockey throughout the weekend.
The Generals will play host to the visiting Innisfail Eagles in a special matinee game on Sunday, Feb. 4th at 11 a.m.
“Everyone is looking forward to it and it is exciting,” Generals Manager Jeff McInnis said. “Credit to the City of Lacombe for coordinating this with Rogers.”
McInnis said the arrival of Hometown Hockey perfectly coincides with a renewed passion for hockey in the area.
“There is a bit of a love affair going on with the hockey and the Generals,” he said. “We feel like we are growing and our team has been well-received.
“From our perspective, it is nice to show off Lacombe. We are in a good spot right now. We have our facility better than it has ever been and we have a great team in the Generals.”
One of the biggest things to showcase is the harmonious nature of the relationship between senior hockey, minor hockey, ringette and figure skating in the City, who all share the Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex together.
“We have a good vibe going on and we are happy to share that. It is a good time for this,” he said.
Not only does this benefit the Generals, it can also showcase the growth of their league and the Allan Cup.
“This will be a good thing for our league because it gives national attention. I hope it brings relevance to it and other communities say, ‘Hey that Lacombe has it going on. Maybe we can support our minor hockey, our senior hockey, our ringette and our figure skating’,” he said.
He added it is important to recognize the arena in Lacombe is a hub in the community — which is consistent throughout Canada.
“It is important that programs like that Hometown Hockey showcase what life is like in small cities,” he said. “Hockey is a lot more than just the NHL.”
Luckily for McInnis, the Generals on ice product is in great shape heading into the weekend, currently sitting in second place with 34 points.
“It is tough to show off your house when it is a mess so we are happy to show off a team that we are very proud of,” he said. “We are proud of the men, the team, the coaches, the volunteers and the staff.”
With the influx of people into Lacombe, the weekend can also serve as a good measuring stick for 2019, when Lacombe will host the Allan Cup Finals.
“You don’t quite flex the muscles of the facility when there are 300 to 400 people in there but when there are 1,000 to 1,500, it makes you realize how slick the facility is.
“It is so much better than it has ever been. You will see that in action,” he said.
McInnis added he hopes people take the time to spend a few hours in Lacombe and see everything it has to offer.
“I hope that every restaurant, hotel, gas station and retail outlet is benefiting from this because it showcases the whole City. We are throwing a party and we hope everyone comes,” he said.