The Cochrane Arena is nearing its 50th birthday and there are plenty of stories to assist in the push to win the $250,000 prize from Hockeyville.

As the SLS Centre's ambassador for the campaign, Nick Maclure is starting to collect and share some of them. He's encouraging others to do the same.

On Jan. 20, he sat down with Denis Goodsell a long-time Cochrane resident who was heavily involved with the Cochrane Generals in their first 25-30 seasons, the first of which were at the Cochrane Arena as a junior C team. They returned there for the 2018-19 to 2022-23 seasons.

"I started as a goal judge," says Denis. "I went on to be president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer. trainer, equipment manager, and was assistant coach for two years."

He says there were many great moments at the old barn with the Gens, but there's one that tops them all, winning the league championship in their first season.

"I think the first championship we won was just unbelievable because you were freezing because it was so cold, but it didn't matter. Everybody jumped on the ice. It was just crazy."

He says even the construction of the arena brought the entire community together.

""The people that build it were all volunteers, and they did excellent job. We had the best ice in Alberta, and I think we still do. It's cold as hell, but it's a great arena."


That's where the $250,000 prize money from Hockeyville can help. The SLS Centre is leading the charge, and should Cochrane be successful, the money will be used to help update the arena.

People are being encouraged to share their stories, photos and videos on Cochrane's page on Hockeyville. Click here. We have until 9:59 a.m. on Feb. 18 to make submissions.

Some already have.

"Cochrane Arena still has the old town feeling that I grew up loving," reads one of the posts. "Now my kids get to experience the same feeling!"

Nick says the more posts received, the better the chance of Cochrane advancing to the next round. If you enter a story or an interview, it's worth 10 points. A photo is worth is three points and a reaction to a photo or story is worth a point.

He says the rink may be old, but it's truly special.

"Its low roof creates an atmosphere pretty much like no other rink in Alberta or possibly Canada. I think this money would go a long way to making improvements."

Watch for Nick's interview with Denis on Cochrane's Hockeyville page.