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'First-class' OHF championship a 'win-win' for players, Orillia

'The kids had a great time and made lifelong memories,' says organizer of tourney that drew 2,000 fans to Rotary Place and kept local businesses bustling
The U15 Millwood Logistics Orillia Terriers skated into the semi-finals of the U15 A Ontario Hockey Federation championship tournament on Sunday afternoon.

The 2024 U15 A Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) championship tournament concluded on Sunday afternoon with the Wildcats taking the crown back home to Woolwich.

The Wildcats defeated the Woodstock Jr. Navy Jets in the championship final on Sunday 3-0. Event co-chair Andy Long says it was a "first-class" event.  

"The committee and the OHF both agree that we had a great turnout and great tournament," he said. "The kids had a great time and made lifelong memories."

Long says he's proud of the hometown Millwood Logistics Orillia Terriers who finished the round robin 1-2-1. They were eliminated in the semi-final by Woodstock by a score of 4-1.

"When you are playing the top teams in the province it gets pretty tough," he said. "I'm happy that we made it to Sunday and proved that we belonged."

Long says the Terriers were unfazed by playing in the playoff rounds of the OHF's marquee event.

"I probably wish they were a little more fazed by it," he chuckled. "They were pretty loose before the game, maybe even a little too loose."

Long says playing in the tournament meant a lot to the local players.

"They were very grateful," he said. "There was a lot of smiles and kids who really enjoyed themselves."

Long hopes players left Rotary Place in West Orillia on Sunday with new friendships and great memories.

"They know now that they can compete with the top teams in the province," he said. "Hopefully, they build friendships among themselves."

Long says the tournament was profitable, but exact numbers are still being calculated.

"We plan on giving back to the community," Long said. "The Orillia Minor Hockey Association will get a piece of it and the kids will pick two charities of their choice for where the money will go."

The tournament was attended by over 2,000 people, Long says.

"The fans loved it," he said. "A lot of compliments went to our parents about the tournament and how well it was run. There were a lot of happy faces at the rink."

Visiting players, parents, and fans enjoyed the vendors at Rotary Place, as well as attractions such as the Orillia Farmers' Market and shopping in downtown Orillia.

"It was good for Orillia," Long said. "We offered a lot for visitors to see and do."

There were more than 120 hotel rooms booked in Orillia over the weekend for the tournament. Long says the tournament brought a lot of economic value to the Orillia community.

"All of the visiting families would have been dining out all weekend," Long said. "With gas, shopping, food, and the vendors at the arena who made money and sold a lot of items, this was a win-win for everybody."

While the tournament was last held in Orillia nine years ago, Long isn't sure if it will one day return to the Sunshine City.

"It will take somebody who really wants to undertake a project this big," he said. "It was a huge commitment for myself, the parents on our team, and everyone who helped out."

Long thanks all the volunteers who were involved, co-chair Brad Carnahan, and the OHF for making the event possible. 


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Tyler Evans

About the Author: Tyler Evans

Tyler Evans got his start in the news business when he was just 15-years-old and now serves as a video producer and reporter with OrilliaMatters
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