Curling event forces change in venue
Bear Mountain Arena has received praise for the warmth, intimacy and tastefulness of its design, according to the Westshore Parks and Recreation website.
The Victoria Royals’ fans will no doubt be interested in the “intimacy” provided by the mid-size arena but, come Game 3 of a first-round WHL playoff series with the Kamloops Blazers, warmth and tastefulness will likely be thrown out the window.
“We know that fans can be a seventh player,” Blazers’ head coach Guy Charron said.
“I know the intensity or the noise will probably be a lot louder than their main building.”
The Royals were forced to move Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven duel to 2,300-seat Bear Mountain because the Ford World men’s curling championship, which runs from March 30 through April 7, is being held at 7,006-seat Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria’s home arena.
“We’re hoping that it’s full and it’s loud,” Victoria head coach Dave Lowry said of Bear Mountain.
“We’d like to be playing in our own building, but we knew at the start of the year that if we didn’t have home ice, we’d play our games there.”
Blazer D-man Tyler Hansen said the venue might lend itself to a raucous atmosphere, similar to that of a bantam or midget playoff game.
Dave Hunchak, the Blazers’ associate coach, is not sure playing in Bear Mountain, located about 20 minutes from the Blazers’ hotel, will have any impact on the series.
“The ice is still 200 feet by 85 feet,” he said.
“If it’s loud and boisterous, it’ll be no different than what we went through last year.
“We’re used to it. For us, it’ll be more exciting than anything.”