West Lorne has made it to the top four in the 2023 Kraft Hockeyville competition, and professional hockey player Bo Horvat is one of many people who hope to see West Lorne Arena take home the top prize.
The winning community will get $250,000 worth of arena upgrades and also have the chance to host a National Hockey League (NHL) game.
Horvat, a London-born hockey player who now plays for the New York Islanders, grew up in Rodney and spent his fair share of time at the West Lorne Arena.
“I have so many fond memories of playing in West Lorne and being a West Lorne Comet… It was a really special time for me. Building friendships and meeting so many new people," Horvat said in a message of support.
In the same clip, he recalls winning the 2003 Silver Stick as a young player, attending public skates with his parents, and hitting the arena for Rivard's Power Skating every Saturday night.
Horvat signed off by wishing good luck to his former hockey team and beloved rink, calling the area "a heck of a hockey community, [with] a lot of passionate fans, and a lot of young players that have grown up around the West Lorne arena and the game."
Other notable hockey figures who have voiced their support for the West Lorne Arena include James Dunn, Mike Oliveira, Justin Azevedo.
The annual Kraft Hockeyville contest requires members of the community to "rally" around their local rink and post messages of support online. West Lorne's page received over 830 entries from the public, placing them in the top four of candidates from all over the country.
Now, West Lorne Arena will go up against three other teams from Quebec, British Columbia, and Manitoba in a final vote.
The winner will be determined by the public. Online polls will open Friday at 9 a.m. and close on Saturday at 5 p.m., giving West Lorne's supporters a day and a half to cast their vote.
You can visit hockeyville.kraftcanada.ca for more information about the Kraft Hockeyville competition and how you can show your support for the West Lorne Arena.