Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour presented by Scotiabank and Dodge is heading to Spruce Grove, AB, to ring in the New Year with a celebration of hockey on December 30 and 31. The weekend will feature broadcast hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, meet-and-greet opportunities with NHL alum Ryan Smyth, live local entertainment and engaging activities for the whole family. In addition, legendary Canadian rock band The Northern Pikes will perform on-site Sunday for fans and as part of the broadcast.
The two-day hockey festival begins on Saturday, December 30 at noon at the Agrena in Spruce Grove, and will conclude Sunday evening following the Rogers Hometown Hockey outdoor viewing party. The afternoon’s broadcast will feature a double-header starting at 1:30 p.m. on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW with the Toronto Maple Leafs visiting the Vegas Golden Knights followed by the Winnipeg Jets at the Edmonton Oilers. The entire broadcast will be hosted live on site by MacLean and Slone from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio.
Rogers Hometown Hockey festival details
The free hockey-themed weekend will feature games, prize giveaways, fun activities, and live local entertainment for the whole family, including:
- Rogers Fan Hub: Helping fans be fans, the Fan Hub features innovative and interactive experiences, showcasing virtual autographs from NHL stars, a hockey-themed Zamboni video game and autograph signings with NHL alumni such as Ryan Smyth to unite fans in their passion for the game. In addition, fans are treated to free hot chocolate on site.
- GamePlus: If you are a Rogers customer you can come to the GamePlus desk in the Rogers Fan Hub and redeem exclusive experiences such as meet-and-greets with NHL alumni, autographed merchandise and tours of our Sportsnet Mobile Studio.
- Sportsnet Augmented Reality Photo Booth: Fans have the chance to get close to their favorite players through augmented reality technology. Fans can take photos with virtual images of NHL stars, and have the photo emailed directly to their device for social sharing.
- The Hockey Circus Show: Come see Paz, our world-renowned hockey acrobat! Paz juggles everything from pucks to flaming hockey sticks all while standing on top of a net. It is an experience that the family will never forget.
- Scotiabank Community Locker Room: A family-friendly space to engage hockey fans, celebrate the game, and interact with NHL alumni. Scotiabank will also be donating $15,000 to minor hockey associations in the community.
- Dodge Family Zone: Features the famous Stow ’n Go Challenge, a hockey-themed obstacle course. Also, fans have the opportunity to enter a contest to win $5,000 for their local minor hockey association and a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica for their family. All contest entrants will receive a co-branded Dodge and Rogers Hometown Hockey retro toque.
- Tim Hortons Ball Hockey Rink presented by Sportsnet: Features pick-up games for the community, including local Timbits Hockey players.
- Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria: Fans can enjoy a free slice of Giuseppe Pizzeria pizza fresh out of the oven, and play the Find Giuseppe Match Game to win a rooftop experience and other great prizes.
- Playmobil Kids Zone: Fans have the chance to face off against friends and family with the PLAYMOBIL NHL Arena and its lineup of NHL figures. In the zone, fans will also be able to enter to win a new NHL playset.
- OK Tire Zamboni Pit Stop: Features a pit-crew-like experience where fans have the opportunity to test their tire-hanging skills on a replica Zamboni.
- Live local entertainment: Live music featured throughout the weekend.
- Special guests: Ryan Smyth
- Broadcast band: The Northern Pikes
- Game matchup (double header):
- Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Vegas Golden Knights, 1:30 p.m. (Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW, Rogers NHL LIVE)
- Winnipeg Jets vs. Edmonton Oilers, 5 p.m. (Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW, Rogers NHL LIVE)
- Nathan Dempsey: Born and raised in Spruce Grove, Nathan Dempsey’s relationship with the game of hockey can be defined with one word: resiliency. Drafted 245th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dempsey spent the majority of his professional hockey career in the minors. Even with the many disappointments of toiling in the minors, the rugged defenseman managed to carve out an NHL career with Toronto, Chicago, LA, and Boston spanning over 260 games through his 16 years. It was near the end of his career that presented another hurdle that Dempsey would have to overcome. At the age of 36, Dempsey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Even with his continuing fight with Parkinson’s, he refused to walk away from the game he loved. Beyond serving as the hockey director at the Vimy Ridge Academy in nearby Edmonton, Dempsey also started his own hockey camp for the children of Spruce Grove. He recently underwent Deep Brain Stimulation surgery to help him better manage his Parkinson’s side effects and to prolong his time on the ice and to continue teaching hockey to future generations.
- Deryk Engelland: Born in Edmonton, Deryk Engelland thought his career was over at age 20. That year was 2003, when luckily the Flames signed him to their ECHL franchise in Las Vegas – a move that proved to be a life changer. Deryk fell in love with the city and, even though he moved all over North America to play the game he loved, Vegas was home. With a new NHL team in Las Vegas this year, the signing of Deryk Engelland in the town he loves was an important move.
- Home Ice Rink on Longview Point: Spruce Grove resident Ryan Polak and his family have built an ice rink in their front yard for everyone in the community to enjoy. The rink bears no fence, so anyone can use it any time. It has created an incredible sense of teamwork and community spirit.
- My Hometown Must: Tara Slone goes ice skating in Central Park under the Christmas lights and caps off the night with a milkshake at Jack’s Drive-In. Central Park has a skating oval every winter, where families can go to skate among the beautifully lit up trees in the park. Jack’s Drive-In has served the community since 1961, and is the must-go-to place for a burger and shake or an ice cream treat.