Over 177 minor hockey teams from Aboriginal communities across Ontario will be making their way to Mississauga on Sunday, their skates sharpened and ready for action as the Little Native Hockey League Tournament launches its 44th year.
Aundeck-Omni-Kaning and Whitefish River First Nations co-host the festivities this year, naming the theme of the event “We Are All Stars” in recognition of the league’s central values of citizenship, sportsmanship, education and respect.
This year’s co-host communities are some of the league’s founding members and have seen the event grow from a smaller tournament at the Little Current Arena, to a province-wide tournament held over 5 days, in 4 arenas, with games taking place on 10 rinks. Despite the changes over the years, the tournament keeps its focus on engaging youth in the sport of hockey by fostering important partnerships and sponsorships. This year, The Dreamcatcher Fund generously covered registration fees for any team that required assistance.
Opening Ceremonies at the Hershey Centre will begin on Sunday March 15 at 5 pm. Games start the next day at 8 am at the Hershey Centre and Iceland, Tomken and Meadowvale arenas. They will continue for 4 days culminating in championship games for Division ‘A’ teams on Thursday, March 19.
The Two Row Times’ team of reporters, photographers and social media staff will be keeping you up to date every day with real-time coverage of Lil’ NHL on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. For expanded coverage, be sure to pick up our special Lil’ NHL edition on March 25 for final scores, exclusive photos, stories and more.