The Alberni Valley Multiplex will be alive with the sound of hockey again this Saturday, April 6 at 6 p.m. when Team Tropic plays the Port Alberni Oldtimer Selects.
The game nearly didn’t happen at all. A crisis last week with travel visas for some of the players threatened to derail the entire tour, spokesperson Ron Doetzel said. However, the team was given the green light on Wednesday, so they will arrive in Port Alberni on Friday night—a couple of days late.
As a result, Parksville’s game will be postponed until Monday, April 8.
“Some of the players didn’t get the visas approved,” Doetzel said. “I can’t say for certain but I guess this isn’t unusual.”
A final roster for Team Tropic won’t be sent until Thursday.
The rest of the games will stay as originally planned: Port Alberni will now be the first game of the series, followed by Duncan on Sunday, April 7 and Campbell River on Tuesday, April 9. Team Tropic loses its day off on Monday to accommodate the Parksville game.
Plans for a community barbecue with the Russian hockey players in Port Alberni is being sorted out, Doetzel said.
Several service groups have purchased blocks of tickets that will be given away to local students. There will be a First Nations presence during opening ceremonies at the Port Alberni game, and a group of elementary school students will form a Russian cheering section too.
Tickets are $5 each and available in advance at the Multiplex as well as at the door. Partial proceeds will go towards KidSport.