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Short List Selected for Local MJHL Team Name

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Four weeks ago, the board of directors of Niverville’s new MJHL hockey franchise launched a public engagement process to hear ideas about what to name the team. Now, the team name submissions have been whittled down to a short list of 12 potential names.

“We received nearly 300 submissions with a lot of very creative names and feedback,” says Ray Dowse, spokesperson for the board. “We truly appreciate the number of people who have shown interest and passion for this new organization.”

Some of the names on the short list are clear-cut, options that received a significant amount of initial support. Others may have received a fewer number of overall submissions, but Dowse says they absolutely warrant serious consideration.

Dowse adds that the board also received draft logos, video clips, and detailed explanations for why certain names are particularly meaningful.

“The board is incredibly humbled by the overall response and level of engagement from the community and region as a whole!” Dowse says.

Now that the short list has been prepared, the time has come for people to vote on which name they like best. Once again, the voting can be done through the Citizen poll—and voting will continue until January 9.

“At some point after that, an announcement will be made with the official team name,” says Dowse. “Then the work begins on finalizing the team logo, colours, etc.”

He clarifies that this isn’t necessarily a case where the name with the highest number of votes will be selected. Rather, greater consideration will be given to names with the greatest amount of public support.

Ultimately, the final decision will be made by the board.

“All those who submit entries will be eligible for random prize draws of a pair of tickets or team merchandise,” Dowse says. “There were ten randomly selected names from the initial group of entrants who will be notified in the coming weeks what they have won.”

Each of the 12 names on the short list are described in alphabetical order.

Niverville Clippers

There is a deep history in the community—indeed, the region—when it comes to the Clippers name.

Whether it’s minor hockey, senior hockey, or the Hanover-Tache Junior Hockey League, the Clippers are synonymous with Niverville. Players from this town, as well as Ste. Agathe, don the Clippers jersey each and every winter.

What did people have to say about it when submitting it to the naming contest? For one thing, “How can it be anything else?” Another benefit is building continuity within the community, and giving minor hockey players a tie-in to the big local team.

Niverville Express

A number of team names drew a connection with the Canadian Pacific rail line that passes through the centre of town. An alternate option which almost made the cut was the Niverville Railers.

In addition to honouring the rail line, some voters suggested that the train theme also ties in to Niverville’s history as the home of the first grain elevator in western Canada.

Another hockey fan says that sounding a train horn could be a fun way of celebrating goals.

Niverville Ice Dogs

Not only does this name play up the ice surface on which the game is played, but also the frigid weather that’s so characteristic of hockey season.

Proponents of the Niverville Ice Dogs reference the overall sound of the name as well as the strong possibilities for logos and mascots.

Niverville Knights

Another popular submission, there is some local history attached to this name. Niverville soccer teams in the 1970s and fastball teams in the 1980s have gone by the Knights, as well as minor hockey teams in Ste. Agathe.

Niverville Nighthawks

This turned out to be a very popular submission, with many people citing its catchy sound. What is a nighthawk? It’s a medium-sized bird with a particularly striking look while it’s in flight—and many people seized on this characteristic for a potential logo.

Niverville Nitro

This name was selected for the short list due to the ease with which is rolls off the tongue—and it would certainly be a unique name.

The obvious reference is to high speed, or something that generates a large amount of power. Pound for pound, nitro fuels result in greater power and speed than traditional gasoline. The Niverville Nitro would be strong, fast, and relentless, representing the community with pride.

Niverville Nordiques

In French, the word Nordiques translates as Northerner. This should resonate with any Canadian who’s proud of the nation’s hockey heritage.

The name itself is most familiar due to the old Quebec Nordiques who played in the NHL. When tied in with the name of our local community, it does have a nice ring to it.

Niverville Northstars

A number of people suggested the Niverville Northstars. In many cases, it was because of the literal north star in the sky. It also has a symbolic meaning, of course, as a beacon of inspiration and hope.

But perhaps the biggest reason to choose the Northstars is its connection to local history. This was the name of a team that played here many years ago, competing at a high level in PeeWee and Bantam hockey. Some of those players still live in the area and have passed on a proud hockey tradition to the next generation.

Niverville isn’t the only local community with a connection to this name. The Île-des-Chênes Northstars was a senior team that went on to win the 2003 Allen Cup.

Niverville Rail Hounds

The Rail Hounds—like the Ice Dogs—incorporates a couple of popular name components. Once again, it references the local rail line, but it also includes an animal. An animal, of course, can make a big impression when it comes to designing an effective logo or mascot. A hound is known for its acute senses, and also its gift of stamina.

Niverville Roadrunners

Speaking of animals, the Roadrunners is a somewhat off-the-radar selection, but it has potential. The roadrunner represents speed, of course, and one’s mind immediately goes back to the old Bugs Bunny cartoons and the infamous Wile E. Coyote.

This name also speaks to Niverville’s unique location, positioned directly between the two major highways of southeastern Manitoba: Highway 59 and Highway 75.

Niverville Threshers

A significant number of people want the team to pay homage to the community’s agricultural roots, which go back to the 1800s. Other nominations included the Harvesters and Pioneers, but Threshers came out on top.

One person even sent in a mock-up logo for the Threshers.

To those not in the know, a thresher is a device that separates the head of a stalk of grain, then further separates the kernel from the rest of the head. It’s also the name of a type of shark with a scythe-shaped tail.

Niverville Torque

Finally, this unique submission has a solid sound. The word torque symbolizes strength and power, and it’s also a measurement of the maximum force that can be generated when something is worked hard.

For example, when a vehicle has more torque, it’s capable of doing more challenging work.

In the context of a hockey team, the goal is certainly to generate as much torque as possible with players displaying a hard work ethic and determination for on-ice success.

For more information

Vote now at the Citizen’s latest poll: www.nivervillecitizen.com/citizen-poll

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