In just a couple hours I’ll be heading with my youngest son to game 3 of his best of 5 OMHA finals in a series where they are up two games to none. Then, we’ll watch as our centre’s Peewee team (also up 2-0) plays game three, followed by my oldest son’s Atom team, playing game 2 in their OMHA finals (up 1-0). Somehow, the stars have aligned almost perfectly (we are only missing our Atom AE team who also made the finals). Three back to back OMHA finals games, starting at 1:00, ending around 5:30, could be the largest day of hockey in our Centre!
In times like these I reflect on what our involvement in hockey is all about, and what hockey has meant to us this year. In this moment, it’s about celebrating the hard work of all of our teams, and our parents. And in small communities, it’s all about our community coming together! I expect that at some points there will be close to a full house in our rink today. Fans who only come out for the finals will sit along those of us who have been slugging it out all year long, and we’ll appreciate their support. Our kids will have a chance to showcase their talent and hard work, and as parents, we’ll have a chance to take in just how far our kids have come.
Weekends like these are also about all those little details. It’s about families making signs to cheer on home teams, it’s about lining up the “perfect” playlist, and it’s about preserving that pregame ritual for our kids (spike that faux-hawk just right, make sure the “lucky dress pants” are pressed). And for parents and members of executive, it’s about putting together programs, arranging food for hospitality rooms to make sure our visiting guests know that they are welcome, and about making sure our kids feel like they are in the big leagues when they finally hit the ice, complete with an opening ceremonies and the live singing of O’Canada.
So, as I get ready to feed my kids that pasta lunch, then head up to help with all the pre-game festivities, I want to take the chance to acknowledge ALL parents, executive members, coaches, and everyone who goes into making successful seasons for kids. And to all hockey playing kids, we are PROUD of you and all of your dedication and hard work!
Happy Hockey everyone!