The Canadian Sport School Hockey League (CSSHL) playoffs are coming back to Penticton.
The CSSHL made the announcement on Tuesday.
“We are pleased to bring the CSSHL championship back to Penticton for the next two years,” said CSSHL chairman Andy Oakes. “This year the tournament is growing from 33 to 44 teams which has increased the competition to be a longer event utilizing all facilities in the community. Last year’s economic impact survey resulted in $1.6 million in direct impact into the community and we expect this to grow to $2.6 million this year due to the increase in teams and days in Penticton.”
Held March 9-13, the event once again will be jointly run by the Okanagan Hockey Group and Spectra Venue Management with support from the City of Penticton and the Penticton Hospitality Association.
“We would also like to thank the City of Penticton and the Penticton Hospitality Association for their continued support of the event.”
All 44 CSSHL teams will be in Penticton for the event, which will be run out of the South Okanagan Events Centre, OHS Training Centre, Memorial Arena and McLaren Park Arena. Over 850 student-athletes and 150 staff members will be in Penticton as well as an estimated 1,250 family members and 100 scouts.
Last June, Oakes told the Western News that members were complimentary about the South Okangan Events Centre and the operation of the event. The championship received exposure from high-level teams from junior B to major junior as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Canadian Internuniversity Sport and the NHL. That attention, Oakes said, was great for the athletes.
“Just the reality of being able to have all of the teams in the league all in one place at one time, it’s a real unique experience,” he said.
Spectators will be able to watch top-end prospects compete over the course of the event, including two, first-round selections from the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft and a total of 59 WHL drafted players.
The CSSHL was established in 2009 by five sport schools based in Alberta and B.C. Their vision was to establish a league designed specifically for elite level hockey players, give these athletes an opportunity to increase their skills on and off the ice and provide athletes with a high level of competition as well as exposure.