Richmond’s 39th holiday hockey classic begins Friday

By Don Fennell

Published 4:07 PST, Fri December 20, 2019

Last Updated: 3:55 PST, Wed January 22, 2020

It was the year of the Miracle on Ice.

Ten months after the United States Olympic hockey team’s upset victory over the Soviet Union in the semifinals of the 1980 Winter Games, leading to the Americans’ surprise gold medal at Lake Placid still resonating, the Richmond Minor Hockey Association was planning its own celebration.

Thirty-nine years after the first holiday classic—originally a B event featuring 10 teams—was played that December, the Richmond International Midget Hockey Tournament has become one of the largest annual invitationals in North America. The 2019 tournament Dec. 27 to 30 will be played at the Richmond Ice Centre, a six ice sheet complex at 14140 Triangle Rd. Games in the Bantam AA and AAA and Midget AA and AAA at  8:45 a.m. Friday (Dec. 27).

All teams are guaranteed a minimum of five games.

Championship games in each divisions are scheduled for Monday (Dec. 30) as follows: Bantam AA at 3:45 p.m. on the Forum at Richmond Ice Centre; Midget AA at 3:45 p.m. at Minoru Arena; Bantam AAA at 8 p.m. at Minoru Arena; and Midget AAA at 9:45 p.m. at Minoru Arena.

Tournament director Sam Sangara is a familiar face at the games. He acknowledges there’s a lot of work to organize the event.

“I’ve being doing this for a long time and do for the players,” he says. “The stress will be there, but when you see all (the players’ efforts) the stress is worth it.”

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