Volume 95, Issue 59

Thursday, January 17, 2002
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Minor stumble - no real trouble

Time to fill the house

Time to fill the house

By Dave Martin
Gazette Staff

Beth Kerim/Gazette
CROWNING ACHEIVEMENT. From left to right, OUA executive director Ward Dilse, London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco, Western president Paul Davenport, Mustangs coach Clarke Singer and Western's chair of athletics Dan Smith pose with the Queen's Cup.

Hockey fans could not be happier following Tuesday's announcement that Western will play host to the 2002 Queen's Cup Ontario from Mar. 8 to 10.

The tournament will see teams battling for the OUA championship.

The announcement was made by Ward Dilse, the executive director of Ontario University Athletics, who was accompanied at a press conference by the chair of Western Athletics Dan Smith, London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco and Western president Paul Davenport.

DeCicco said she was very excited about the news, noting the tournament will be an excellent chance to showcase the city, as well as to watch some great hockey.

"This is much more than a sporting event. It is a great chance for us to expose the community to people beyond our [city] borders," DeCicco said.

"We want to show our television audience a packed house and we couldn't be more confident in being able to do so than at Thompson Arena here at Western," said Dilse.

With the Western men's hockey team currently holding a 16-0 regular season record, Dilse noted it is a huge boost for the event coordinators to have the home team looking so promising for the tournament.

Western's Intercollegiate athletics and recreation manager of marketing Grant Garrow, who is actively involved on the planning committee, helped to explain the strategy for making everything come together.

"A critical factor to our success is confirming sponsorship packages and so far everything is very promising," he said. "We've already got close to a dozen interested companies and one specifically looking to be the headline sponsor. If they come through as planned, it will open a lot of doors in approaches for us to market this event."

Although many people have pegged Western's team to be in this event, head coach Clarke Singer said he was cautious about making predictions, but added he knew the experience of playing the Queen's Cup at home would be a great opportunity for his team.

"We've still got a long way to go before we can think about being in this tournament, but obviously it would be a huge boost for our team to have a big crowd completely behind us playing for the championships," Singer said.

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