BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER: Mike Morrison, Geoff Finn and Jean Campbell head into the Team USA vs. Slovakia IIHF World Junior Championship Game at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria on Boxing Day. Finn, originally from New Brunswick, met Morrison and Campbell at a pub before the game. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

World Junior Championship bringing people together in Victoria

Hockey fans gathered for Team USA vs. Slovakia on Boxing Day

Every Boxing Day hockey fans rejoice as the IIHF World Junior Championship kicks off and this year, the excitement has come right to Victoria.

Thousands gathered at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Wednesday afternoon to watch team USA face off against Slovakia.

The streets surrounding the centre were packed with vehicles as parking lots in the area filled up quickly.

Many last-minute ticket buyers lined up at the arena to make sure they had a chance to catch the action.

Kayla Aspelund and Nathaniel Cook were gifted tickets to the game and Aspelund said she was excited to be able to see it.

“I remember, as long as I can remember, watching the World Juniors on Boxing Day,” Aspelund said. “Now that it’s here it’s really cool that we get to actually go.”

Cook, originally from Wales, recently became a Canadian citizen and while he doesn’t love hockey as much as Aspelund, he said he’s learning about it.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Team USA defeats Czech Republic at B.C. exhibition game

READ MORE: Canada dominates Slovakia in world junior warm up in Victoria

The championship has also had a hand in forming new friendships in Victoria.

Jean Campbell and Mike Morrison are both Victoria residents who ran into a man named Geoff Finn at a pub before the game.

Finn is from New Brunswick and was in Victoria to visit family and go to the game. The three of them posed for photos in Team Canada and Slovakia jerseys in front of the centre before the game began.

“It’s awesome that Victoria is getting to be showcased on a world scene,” Campbell said. “It’s an amazing place to be and we’re so excited to welcome the world here.”

The last time B.C. hosted the World Junior Championship was in 2006 in Vancouver when Canada won gold.

This year, games will be taking place in both Vancouver and Victoria.

Organizers have said they expect full arenas for the games in Vancouver and Victoria with ticket demands exceeding expectations.

The IIHF World Junior Championship will run until Jan. 5, 2019.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Interest swirls in Oak Bay to ban gas-powered leaf blowers

‘Two-stroke engines are obosolete technology,’ says Coun. Tara Ney

65-million-year-old triceratops makes its debut in Victoria

Dino Lab Inc. is excavating the fossilized remains of a 65-million-year-old dinosaur

ICBC, province urge residents to plan ahead for winter weather

Greater Victoria should gear up and have a plan in place

VicPD mourns loss of retired police dog, Conan

Conan and human partner helped find missing children, fugitives and more

Harbour authority names dock for Victoria’s record-breaking sailor

Jeanne Socrates is the oldest person to sail around the world unaccompanied

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you plan on making any purchases on Black Friday?

We’ve all seen the images. Shoppers rioting outside of a store in… Continue reading

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Cowichan Milk Company: from grass to glass, bottled milk right to your door

Farm stand open 6 days a week, and home delivery is available everywhere from Mill Bay to Chemainus.

Time to start baking in time for Sooke’s gingerbread contest

Proceeds go to support the work of Sooke’s the food bank

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Most Read