MASSENA - The Massena Industrial League hockey tournament will be returning to the Massena Arena this weekend.
Games begin Friday and continue on Saturday for the tournament thats tied in with Melissas Closet, a local organization that provides free prom dresses to area high school students.
Well play Friday evening, starting at 6 p.m. There will be four games. Then theres a reception at Coachs Corner starting around 9 oclock. The band Six Foot Midgets will be playing at Coachs Corner starting around 9 oclock. Well have pizza, wings and other things for the players, organizer Tom Post said.
Saturday afternoon action picks up following a high school hockey game between Massena and Potsdam.
Well start at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and run until probably 10 oclock that night, he said.
Participating teams include St. Lawrence Gas, Alcoa, New York Power Authority, the Muni team (which includes the Massena Electric Department and village employees), Corrections (which includes law enforcement agencies such as U.S. Border Patrol, New York State Police, corrections officers and members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police), Massena High School teachers and OpTech.
Theres a few new teams in there. This tournament is actually an open tournament. So if someone cant field a team, anyone can play, Mr. Post said.
Teams in the Industrial League play once a week, and the opening round of the tournament is based on their current standings, he said.
Its all tied in with the league, Mr. Post said. There may be some guys that dont technically play in the league that will be playing this weekend because its a charity.
Each player provides a $20 donation, and the New York Power Authority has paid for the ice time.
NYPA is gracious enough and generous enough to pay for our ice time for the whole tournament, he said. I believe the referees are donating their time as well.
Mr. Post and Recreation Director Richard A. Boprey said they were glad to have the tournament back at the Massena Arena.
Last year they couldnt get in here. They came to us at the 25th hour. This year they came to us early. They want to be here. This is where they want to play, Mr. Boprey said.
They did not have a tournament last year. The previous two years before that, it was at Louisville. Its been three years since its been at the arena. The arena is where it should be, Mr. Post said.
He said theyre looking forward to once again being able to help Melissas Closet, which was established in 2008 by the family of the late Melissa Walsh, a 1999 Massena High School graduate who died in an automobile accident in Syracuse. The goal is Melissas Closet is to make sure that prom dresses are available for Northern New York high school women so they can attend their proms in style, regardless of their financial or family circumstances.
Its a good time and everybody enjoys it. Were glad to help the Walsh family, Mr. Post said.
The proceeds of a 50-50 raffle that will be held during the high school game will also go toward Melissas Closet.
(Athletic Director) Timmy Hayes has been great about that, he said.
The Walsh family also typically has a raffle, according to Mr. Post, and have in the past had items such as a professional hockey players jersey.
They typically have something in the arena, he said.