The Vees have made the trip from Penticton to Portage on Thursday, as they arrived in the RBC Cup host city around dinner time. The slogan for the tournament is “The road ends here,” and it does for five teams, as the Vees are battling the host Portage Terriers, Melfort Mustangs, Central champs Soo Thunderbirds and the East reps the Carleton Place Canadians.
It was an early start, as the team met at the rink just before 7 am PST, before busing up to YLW for a connecting flight to Calgary. After a short layover in Calgary it was a 90-minute flight to a grey and rainy Winnipeg. From there the Vees hopped on a bus to make the 50-minute trek due west to Portage.
We headed straight to the rink in Portage and boy, what a facility they have here. The PCU Centre is four-years old if I’m not mistaken and has the main rink, a second ice sheet, a pool and full gym all under one roof. The Vees players were gushing about their dressing room setup and the rink itself, as they had time to get familiar with their new surroundings.
I got a chance to have a look around and this is one of the nicer facilities I’ve been able to walk through. Clean, large and modern dressing rooms for the players; tones of space. Roomey hallways for the busy foot traffic that comes with a national championship tournament.
There’s around 1600 seats I’m told and room for another 300 or so in standing room sections. There’s a walking track that circles the rink at the top of the concourse and that walking track, is a buffer between the seats and press boxes and suites. There’s three press boxes down one side and three suites on the opposite side of the rink; well thought out.
Lots of banners and wraps around the building reminding you this is the site of the 2015 National Junior ‘A’ Championship. I’ll have more pictures on Friday, as the Vees head down to the rink for their first practice and it’s picture day as well.