Grams and Gramps Haylee, arrived at the arena and noticed the almost over game between Nanaimo and Prince George was tied in its fifth period.
Confused but as we load up on snacks at the concession to watch the next game, we hear the crowd roar as a goal was scored.
This game must be over now so we take our places and watch what is left. Nanaimo players kneeling on their blue line. We look over at the Prince George bench and notice arms flailing, voices raised and sticks slapping angrily on the ice and against boards. Black and whites are in the midst of this chaos.
I guess at 7.5 seconds left in the second overtime period, the time keepers forgot to start the clock at the face-off. Nanaimo gets the puck and skates all the way down the ice and scores for the win.
PG coach goes ballistic because of timekeeper's mistake. Refs decide it is a win for Nanaimo. Don’t know who is right or what is right - we just got to the arena. Watch with the cynical eyes of “oh brother, one of these games." When are they going to get off the ice so our game can start.
...then my world was altered in one moment.
The Prince George coaches decide to yell screen at everyone, they refused to line up at their blue line, coaches tell all the boys to get off the ice. One young 12 year old boy, (#2) slowly left this raging pack. He skated towards his blue line. His coach yelled for him to get off the ice. He meekly shook his head “no” to the coach and put his knee down on the blue line. The only one who had the courage to act like a real Canadian PeeWee Hockey player.
What courage that must have taken. He would know the locker room would bully him down, the bus ride home would be lonely. His dad was in the stands watching his son kneel all alone at the blue line for the usual end of tournament awards.
The crowd all stood and praised him loud. The Nanaimo team all rushed over to him with taps on the head and cheers for his courage. I would like to think his dad’s eyes were full of tears for his brave son who now had to enter the dressing room once again alone. Last game of the year.
Prince George, known apparently for much of this type of old school coaching behaviour. So very sad. Men wanting to win instead of men wanting to help boys become men.
Never seen anything like this before.
I thought at that moment, Sunday night, there were little Canadian towns all over the country coming to the end of a tournament or playoff season right now. How many individuals would at 12 years old stand up alone like that. I will never forget the sight. The whole arena was one heart with #2. Courage, strength, character. There had to be all 20 boys of Nanaimo watching this brave #2 stand for his principles.
Wow, good for him.
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