To all fellow hockey players…
I have had the amazing opportunity to play at a highly competitive level in both a boys league and then a girls league for the past 10 years. Sadly, this was my last year in the OWHL and I was honored to be a goalie for the Toronto Leaside Wildcats Migat AA as well as co-captain with one of my fellow seniors above. During this Easter weekend, my team had there last tournament/games.
Due to a knee injury I obtained last year, I was unable to play in the last bit of the season or any of our playoff games. Watching your team play some of the most important games of the year is harder then it may seem and for someone who has dedicated all their time and effort to hockey, its like watching your family live their everyday life with out you.
For the first game of the tournament us seniors had decided to do something special and embrace the Easter spirit. So the girls tapped their sticks pink (it’s meant to look stupid) and I reserved bunny ears; which I wore for the whole day. We went undefeated in our round robin and when it came to the quarter finals I choose to dress and be on the bench with my girls. I too taped my stick in pink and although I couldn’t be on the ice, it felt unbelievable to be back on the bench and really part of the team again.
I dressed again for the semi finals which we had made it through too; unfortunately, after the other team had scored 3 goals and there was only 5 minutes left on the clock, it was clear we would not be winning this game. My coach called a time out and told me that I was going to play for the last five minutes. This was very unexpected seeing as how I shouldn’t be playing with the way my knee’s are but despite the fact, I couldn’t say no.
The symphony of cheers that came for my team as well as the people in the stands was mind blowing and I could hardly hold back the tears. My team came out flying and the effort they put into make sure I wouldn’t have to do that much work was heart warming. Being given the chance to play one last time was one of the most meaningful things that has ever happened two me. Being able to spend my last 2 minutes with the three remarkable people able will be a moment I will never forget.
I’m proud to say that I was not only and captain, but a role model and a teammate to such an amazing group of people and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to have that in my life. The amount that I’ll miss these girls and coaches can not be put into words and I only wish the best for them in the future and hope they get the same treatment and respect that I was shown this year. They will for ever be in my heart.
For those of you who may be just starting out in hockey/ any other dedicated hobby, or approaching your last year, I give you one piece of advice. Cherish every moment you have with it because once its over, all you’ll have is memories.