East will meet west the weekend of Nov. 17-19 as Napanee District Minor Hockey hosts their annual Andy McGarvey Memorial Tournament.
Fifty-five teams from across Ontario are set to take part in the tournament, spread out across nine divisions — two each in novice, peewee and bantam with three in atom. Unlike previous years, there wasn’t enough interest to schedule play in the midget division.
The Napanee Stars will have representation in each division with the rest of the competition coming from the Ottawa region and then east of Kingston.
“I’m trying to make it so the Ottawa teams don’t play each other,” said Shawn Scrimshaw, who has taken over as tournament director for this season. “I’m trying to get the local teams, Kingston and outside of Napanee, to see some different calibre teams. There’s no point in having our teams play all the same teams they see in the normal loop. I’m trying to get them to see some varying competition from outside.”
Games will be played throughout the weekend at Napanee’s Strathcona Paper Centre and Deseronto’s Community Recreation Centre. Each division will play a round-robin format with every team guaranteed three games with the chance for up to seven.
With so many tournaments available for minor hockey teams, Scrimshaw says its the location and hospitality of Napanee that allows a relatively small centre to host a large scale tournament.
“We’re pretty much ideally situated between Toronto and Ottawa,” he said, noting the Hampton Inn next to the arena is a big selling feature to teams as well. “We try to advertise to people to use the local motels and get them filled up as well. It’s good for the local economy.”
As part of the tournament festivities, the Novice BB Stars will hold officially raise their OMHA championship banner to the rafters at 11 a.m. on Saturday.