OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2013) - The board of directors of the Ottawa International Hockey Festival is pleased to announce that the Bell Capital Cup will return to the nation's capital on Dec. 28. The 2014 edition of this annual atom and peewee tournament will include 19 divisions, 310 teams and more than 5,300 players. The 15th edition of the event, which runs through Jan. 1, will officially kick-off on Dec. 27 at the Bell Sensplex with the Bell Capital Cup Fanfest and Esso Friendly Games, which are open to the public.
"On behalf of our board of directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the tournament organizers and volunteers who have been working hard to provide the participants and their families with an unforgettable experience in our nation's capital this holiday season," said Bell Capital Cup general manager Scott Lawryk. "This year marks the 15th anniversary of the tournament, and as always, it will showcase great minor hockey action with more than 600 games being played throughout the city. Without a doubt, the highlight of the tournament will be the lasting memories created on and off the ice as tournament participants display competitive spirit and take in the sights and sounds of Ottawa."
The National Capital Region will welcome more than 15,000 visitors to the area for the annual tournament, with a community impact that has seen the festival raise more than $2.5 million in direct support of minor hockey and local charities since its inception in 1999. Widely recognized as the world's premier atom and peewee hockey tournament, the Bell Capital Cup has consistently generated a wide array of economic activity within the region.
Once again, former Senators' forward and Kanata native Todd White will serve as honourary chair of this year's tournament. "It's an honour to be asked to participate in the tournament once again this year," said White. "It's a huge event, not only for the City of Ottawa but for the families who participate in the tournament each year. A lot of effort goes into each and every game and the teams that get to the finals at Canadian Tire Centre should be extremely proud of how hard they have worked. I'm definitely looking forward to taking in the action, seeing the smiles on the kid's faces and distributing trophies and awards at the end of the tournament."
Teams at the 2014 Bell Capital Cup will be vying for the Allen J. MacDonald Memorial Trophy. This year's field will be comprised of teams from seven different countries, including Austria, Canada (four provinces and one territory), China, Finland, Germany, Japan and the United States (with representation from eight individual states).
The Bell Capital Cup's 19 divisions, including two girls groups, will play more than 600 games on 27 ice surfaces across Ottawa, from Stittsville to Orleans and points in between. Each division's championship game will be played at Canadian Tire Centre over the course of three days, from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1. Scotiabank-Canadian Tire all-star games are slated for Dec. 29, in all divisions, with the Scotiabank-Canadian Tire skills competitions taking place on Dec. 29 and 30. Off the ice, more than 3,500 tournament participants will take in the Ottawa Senators game on Dec. 28 as the Senators host the Bruins as well as the Senators Gameday Experience presented by Esso on Dec. 30.
The Ottawa International Hockey Festival is a non-profit organization with the mandate, as set forth by its volunteer board of directors, to support local children's charities and minor hockey. The Bell Capital Cup provides young athletes with an opportunity to compete against their peers at a high level, meet new friends and develop skills both on and off the ice in a fun yet competitive setting. Money raised from this year's tournament will once again support minor hockey and local charities. Last year, $110,000 was raised through Bell Capital Cup initiatives, bringing the 14-year total for the festival to more than $2.5 million.
Media opportunity: Members of the media are invited to Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday, Dec. 22, between 8 a.m. and noon for a photo opportunity as Bell Capital Cup general manager Scott Lawryk, tournament organizers and volunteers distribute trophies, pucks, tournament programs and signage to local arena representatives. Lawryk will also be available for interviews regarding this year's tournament. Media are asked to enter Canadian Tire Centre via the Gate 3 entrance.