The Portage Minor Hockey Association (PMHA) is bringing another tournament to Stride Place this weekend.
This kicks off a run of three consecutive weekends where the Portage Cup will put on a tournament at the local facility, and this time around, it will be the U11s involved. PMHA President Travis Foster says the action gets underway today at 9 a.m.
"We have 24 teams coming to town, and there will be a total of 54 games that are going to be happening here over the weekend," Foster explains. "Sunday will be our championship day but even on Sunday, every team has the chance to win a banner. There's going to be six different divisional championships that are going to be handed out."
Foster says anyone who wants to follow along with the tournament can do so at Portagecup.ca. He notes they will be doing live updates on every game for the entire tournament. The president of the association adds it's always great to see how their events can benefit the rest of the community.
"The spinoff from our tournaments is huge. We pretty much sell out every hotel room in town, restaurants are full, and Candian Tire and Keystone (Sports Excellence) are busy all weekend with sharpening skates and people grabbing sticks. It's nice to see."
At this point last year, it was the beginning of another shutdown due to COVID-19. Foster says he couldn't be happier that they're finally past the hurdles of the pandemic.
"Last year, Portage Minor Hockey was only able to run one tournament, which happened before Christmas. It seems like, right now, we're right back to normal," Foster continues. "It's going to be busy over the next few weekends, in town. We just look forward to seeing the kids on the ice competing and having a great time."
Foster notes it will cost $5 per day to attend the action at Stride Place or $10 for a weekend-long pass.
Two of the three Portage teams will be in action this morning, with #1 taking on the Elm Creek Lightning at 9 a.m. and #2 opening up their weekend with a matchup against the Fort Gary Flyers. Portage #3 will debut at 12:30 as they battle the Beausejour Blades.