Fans of the Terrace River Kings gathered for the team rally at Terrace Totem Ford today, gearing up for the big Coy Cup Championship to be hosted here at the Terrace Sportsplex next week Tuesday to Saturday.
Fans collected signed player cards and got autographs on their jerseys, as well as enjoyed a barbecue and handful of encouraging speeches.
Among the speakers were NDP MP Nathan Cullen and Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc, who each took a turn encouraging the River Kings to win next week.
“I want to see you in the [Riverboat Days] parade this year,” Leclerc said. “You guys are champs… we’re going to take this thing in Terrace.”
Leclerc teased Cullen for his loyalties to the Smithers Steelheads, and Cullen admitted to having “divided loyalties.”
“But I think you should take the Coy Cup this year,” Cullen told the River Kings. “I live in Smithers and pay taxes there but Smithers had their moment, didn’t they?”
Cullen joked that if the Terrace River Kings need an extra player in the Coy Cup Championship next week, they could plunk him in front of the net.
“I can block a pretty mean shot,” he said. “I will lay down in front of pucks like nobody business.”
Terrace goalie Patrick Leal was also honoured to receive the CIHL goalie of the year trophy.
The Coy Cup Championship starts off next Tuesday, March 22, with Smithers Steelheads facing Whitehorse Huskies at 4 p.m. and then Terrace River Kings facing Fort St. John Flyers.
Wednesday, March 23, Smithers face Fort St John at 4 p.m. and then Terrace faces Whitehorse at 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 24, Whitehorse faces Fort St. John at 4 p.m. and Terrace faces Smithers at 7 p.m.
Friday, March 25, will be the semi-final game at 7 p.m. and the finals will be at 7 p.m. Saturday night.