Clippers cruising to town with 3HL
J.T. MCVEIGH/ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN 3HL'S Justin Fox, left founder of the 3HL hockey challenge and Collingwood mayor Sandra Cooper show off the new jerseys for the recently minted Simcoe County Clippers, a new team in the 12-team 3 on 3 hockey league. The Collingwood Challenge is back this year November 11 at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena. Puck drops at 6 p.m.
COLLINGWOOD — The 3HL hockey challenge is coming back to town, this time with a new expanded league including the recently formed Simcoe County Clippers.
Playing to a large crowd at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena last year, the league played in a fast-paced three-on-three format.
The league came into being because 3HL president Justin Fox watched a lot of hockey and always thought that overtime periods brought out the best in the sport. So he created a game where the whole contest is played that way, only with no icing, no face-offs and end-to-end action.
In the league’s first visit to Collingwood last year, more than 700 people attended. An eight-team round robin tournament featuring ex-pros and collegiate players who played two 14-minute periods with a winner-take-all for the cash purse at the end of the night.
The reason for a local Clippers team was easy. There was a lot of interest from local businesses after last year’s tournament.
“We named the club the Simcoe County Clippers because we wanted the whole region to be recognized, but Collingwood was probably one our best events last year,” said Fox. “I think that everyone had a great time, all of the players were talking about how much they enjoyed it. So this year we are back with a hometown team.”
This year’s games will be played Nov. 11 with the puck dropping at 6 p.m.
The league has increased its compliment of teams from eight to 12, and they will be hosting 17 events across south central Ontario including one in Barrie in the New Year. The championships will be held in Guelph.
Teams included Avalanche, Hamilton Tigers, Milton Flyers, Simcoe County Clippers, Guelph Brewers, Oshawa 88’s, Newmarket Saints, Niagara Rapids, and Markham Millionaires.
“For Collingwood, we have eight teams coming in, so it is an eight-team single elimination tournament. There are seven games over a three-hour time span,” said Fox. “The teams play two periods of seven minutes each. Loser goes home. There is $15,000 on the line, each round wins some money and the final garners the winning team another $7,000.”
Mayor Sandra Cooper was on hand for a press conference for the upcoming contest, sporting the brand new jersey.
“I have to give credit to the people who work behind the scenes to put this on. I was there last year and it really is fast hockey,” said Cooper. “I would encourage anyone to come out and enjoy, they support a great cause. There are former NHL players playing the great game of hockey in our Eddie Bush Arena.”
Again this year, the Collingwood 3HL game is partnering with the Collingwood branch of the YMCA. Tickets are available at 3HL.com or at the Collingwood YMCA.
Children wearing their minor hockey jersey get in free if accompanied by an adult.
There will be a ceremony recognizing Remembrance Day; a local choir singing the national anthem.