OneHockey comes ‘home’ for four holiday extravaganzas
It was 14 years in the making, but the No. 1-rated hockey tournament group in the industry finally introduced its home state of California to what the highly acclaimed OneHockey Experience is all about during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
It will do so again later this month with a three-day Presidents Day festival.
OneHockey CEO Sebastien Fortier, a Laguna Hills resident, announced last summer that, thanks to the support of the local Ontario Jr. Reign program, he is bringing four OneHockey holiday weekend spectaculars to the Golden State during the 2017-18 campaign. The upcoming extravaganzas will take place at the Icetown Rinks in Riverside and Carlsbad during the 2018 Presidents Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day weekends. Both arenas are owned and operated by the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings franchise.
“I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to break into California, and now we got one,” said Fortier, who founded OneHockey in 2003 as a spring and summer events company and now operates the 25-plus international tourney organization year-round from his home office. “We had an opportunity to take over the ice from the Jr. Reign and jumped on the opportunity.”
“We are so happy to bring the best in the business to our area,” added Jr. Reign founder and president Ben Frank. “OneHockey will be a breath of fresh air in California. I’m sure West Coast teams will be thrilled and dive right in.”
The Presidents Day hockey festival will be headquartered mainly at the Icetown Riverside facility. The five-game-guaranteed tournament will feature competition for the Pee Wee through Midget/high school age groups at the B, A and AA levels.
“I’m so happy to be able to show the people in our own backyard what the OneHockey Experience is all about,” said Fortier. “We’re going to show them how we spoil the players, but I also strongly encourage teams from across the country and Canada to come play hockey on the beautiful California coast.”
During the inaugural OneHockey-California event in November, eight champions were crowned in the Mite through Midget/varsity divisions as more than 650 players from 34 teams converged in Riverside. The Presidents Day tournament is expected to be even larger.
“I love the idea of holding tournaments here in California on holiday weekends throughout the year,” Fortier said. “I want people to think ‘OneHockey’ during those special times of year when families get together.”
A OneHockey event is anything but your everyday tournament at your neighborhood rink. The experience starts by transforming each venue to a OneHockey Arena with hundreds of feet of banners, posters and flags. Then there’s the festive music and amusing mascot streaming throughout each rink as well as a mini-expo of vendors and red carpet social media interviews in the lobby. And, of course, there’s the trademark championship celebrations complete with the OneHockey Cup raising and non-alcoholic campaign showers.
By the end of 2018, OneHockey will be making worldwide news as Fortier’s group embarks on setting a Guinness World Record for hosting the largest tournament ever. OneHockey is partnering with the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association to put on the largest tournament the sport has ever seen during the Holiday Invite 2018. This unprecedented, four-day Christmas school vacation event will feature as many as 1,000 teams in both boys and girls divisions currently estimated to number more than 23,000 players from 10 countries squaring off on more than 75 sheets of ice throughout the Great Lakes State.
For more information or to register for the OneHockey-California holiday events, record-setting 2018 Holiday Invite or any of the other year-round spectaculars scheduled across North America and Europe, visit www.onehockey.com.
— Kevin Conway
(Feb. 6, 2018)