The Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament
The 27th Anniversary of the Vince Ryan Memorial Scholarship Hockey Tournament will be held March 17th-20th, 2016. This tournament is the largest recreational adult hockey tournaments of its kind!
History of the Tournament
The tournament sprouted from the established Devco Old-timers Hockey League. The Devco League, formed in 1983, began with just 4 teams. Its purpose was to give coal miners aged 35 and older a chance to get together on Sunday evening to play some hockey. In 1989, they decided to hold a tournament to benefit the local community and the Vince Ryan Tournament was born. Although Devco is now defunct, the League still exists and Devco teams continue to participate in the tournament every year.
Every year, approximately 150 teams from across Canada and the United States and recently a team from the Netherlands, bringing thousands of players to 10 rinks across the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) in Nova Scotia.
Proactively seeing the need for the development of female hockey programs in Nova Scotia, the tournament organizers launched, what has become, a successful female division for women 19 and over, in 1999. Approximately 200 volunteers devote thousands of hours to make sure each and every participant enjoys their time to the fullest. Each year, the tournament impacts Cape Breton’s economy with an estimated $5.1 million! This is during the off-season for Cape Breton tourism.
In addition to the competitive, exciting and sportsmanlike hockey, off the ice tournament time is known for reunions of friends and families, the start of new friendships, numerous social events and great nightly entertainment at a number of locations.
Origin of the Tournament Name
John Vincent Ryan played his first hockey on ponds and outdoor rinks around his native community of Donkin, eventually becoming one of the Maritimes’ most prolific scorers. Vince began playing organized hockey in the late 1940′s and led Donkin based teams in the Midget and Juvenile categories to local and maritime championships. In 1951, he joined the Glace Bay Junior Miners to play in the highly respected Cape Breton Junior League. He scored his 200th Senior League career goal in the 1962-63 season, and is believed to be the third highest scorer in the Maritime Senior Hockey League. The Tournament was launched in tribute to his accomplishments and his philosophy of helping youth.