For the first time in three years, Dryden is welcoming players for the Lil’ Bands Hockey Tournament from across the region into the community.

Manager of Community Services for the City of Dryden, Steve Belanger, says 38 First Nations hockey teams will be playing in the tournament between January 31 and February 5 after the last three years’ tournaments were cancelled due to COVID-19.

Grand opening ceremonies will take place today at the Dryden Memorial Arena, and games will be split between Dryden and Eagle Lake First Nation’s arena.

Several player events are taking place throughout the week for players and their families, hosted by Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Food and drinks will also be provided, as well as door prizes.

Events include bowling, sliding, pancake breakfasts, dinner and more. You can find a full list HERE.

2020’s Lil’ Bands tournament, the last one before COVID-19, was record breaking with over 200 games played between 80 teams and 1,000 players in four arenas.