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The town of Lafleche has been selected as one of four finalists for Kraft Hockeyville.

Lafleche (located 152 kilometres southeast of Swift Current) is joined by High River, Atla., Huntingdon, Que., and Lucan, Ont. as the finalists.

Dave Starke, the president of the Lafleche community centre, said that when the community heard the news, they were thrilled.

"It's unreal," he said. "We didn't think we would come this far that's for sure. A community of 400 people, so we're shocked."

The four finalists have already received a total of $35,000 including $25,000 for upgrades to their rinks and $10,000 in new hockey equipment.

Starke says the money will be put to good use updating the rinks ice plant that was installed five years after the rink was built in 1973.

"That money will be going into the plant room," he said. "It's 40 years old this year, so it's in need of some major repairs."

According to Starke, if they win the $250,000, they will complete the updating on the plant and also revamp the dressing rooms too.

"The plant room for sure and hopefully we would also have enough to do dressing rooms," he said. "We are down to three dressing rooms so between our male and female teams it gets a little hard for scheduling, so that's next on our list."

Starke said that since they found out they were in the finals things have been hectic.

"Just kind of a whirlwind since we found out Saturday night," he said. "Everything is moving along now pretty quick, and we have a lot of planning. Everybody is really excited and can't believe the support we've been getting from everyone."

Starke adds that they've received a lot of support from the surrounding communities, which along with social media has helped them get to the final.

"Social media has been a big one, and just the community is just really involved and really excited about this, so everyone's jumping on board," he said. "Also we've had lots of support from the surrounding communities; Assiniboia, Glentworth, Gravelbourg, Kincaid. A lot of times we split teams with these areas as well, so there's a huge amount of community support here."

The winner of the 2018 Kraft Hockeyville title will receive $250,000 in arena upgrades and as well as the opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game.

The final round of voting opens at 10:00 a.m. on March 30 and closes at 6:30 p.m. on March 31. 

Since Kraft Hockeyville's inception in 2006, no Saskatchewan community has ever won.

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