Seven Bridges Ice Arena in Woodridge is home to the CCM World Invite, the largest youth ice hockey tournament in the world, featuring more than 500 teams and thousands of fans.
As a kick-off to the festivities, Seven Bridges welcomed several special guests, including Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull, who signed autographs and posed for pictures while raffling off memorabilia.
Also making an appearance was the Stanley Cup, making one of its nearly 300 annual stops around the globe. Fans flocked to the arena to pose with the legendary trophy under the watchful eye of the keeper of the cup, Philip Pritchard.
The Vice President and Curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame has been traveling with the cup for years.
“It’s amazing, the life and times of the Stanley Cup. You know its 125 years old this year. And anyone that picks up a stick or puts on skates wants to play in the National Hockey League and eventually pick up the cup. But all those dreams start in minor hockey, and here we are at Seven Bridges, one of the largest hockey tournaments in the world. And teams and people from all over the place are at the tournament, so its always nice to work with organizers to have something special,” said Pritchard.
Despite the many visitors, public skating times at Seven Bridges will still be available everyday throughout the week.
Naperville News 17’s Justin Cornwell reports.