Glace Bay Miner's Forum welcomes back minor hockey players after 3 years
HALIFAX -- Three years after the rink in Glace Bay, N.S., was forced to close its doors, players with the Glace Bay Minor Hockey League were welcomed back with open arms on Sunday.
“Today was the return of the Miner’s Forum by the Glace Bay Minor Hockey Association,” said James Edwards, president of Glace Bay Minor Hockey.
In 2017, the rink, known as the Bayplex then, was closed with serious repairs and renovations required.
Minor hockey was forced to move to other rinks in Dominion, N.S. and at the Cape Breton University.
On Sunday, the newly named Glace Bay Miner’s Forum welcomed players back through their doors, with games beginning early in the day.
“The Miner’s Forum represents Glace Bay identity in a big way,” said N.S. Liberal MLA Geoff MacLellan.
“So, for hockey players, for boys and girls who are on the ice, for their families, for the coaches, the referees, everyone involved, it just feels like home again.”
Also returning to its home building on Sunday was the Glace Bay Minor Hockey’s famed 50/50 draw. The draw typically goes for more than $50,000 per week, sometimes exceeding $100,000 in their Christmas Jackpot.
“Prior to renovations at the Bayplex, we used to have a Glace Bay Minor Hockey room where the draw was done, but now it’s in the community hall. So we’ve got lots of room,” said Edwards.
The rink also shared a special moment on Sunday, honouring Glace Bay Little League coach Henry Boutilier who recently received a grim diagnosis.
Boutilier is best known in the area for guiding his hometown Colonels to five little league world series appearances.
At the age of 67, Boutilier was recently diagnosed with stage four liver cancer.
“Henry, of course, is best known for baseball in Glace Bay but in Glace Bay Minor Hockey, he was also a referee-in-chief for an excess of 20 years,” explained Edwards.
“Oh, it meant a lot,” said Boutilier.
“It brings back a lot of memories that’s for sure. A lot of good people around Glace Bay over the years. Glace Bay and surrounding areas. Yeah, it sure brings back a lot of memories.”
A new uniform design was also unveiled marking the return for many to what they refer to as home ice.
The official reopening ceremony for the Glace Bay Miner’s Forum will be held by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, though the date has not been announced yet.