As the buzzer sounded, the sticks and gloves flew off and proud fans watched the players pile upon our goalie in that timeless hockey tradition. The etiquette of the hockey victory celebration was already well engrained in our 7 and 8 year old kids! Hockey Moms swarmed the ice to take pictures, and the team posed for the traditional team photo. You could feel a change in the air as tension, anxiety, and stress released from the players, and from the parents, who were of course, all smiles. Our kids circled the ice holding the trophy (this was OUR Stanley Cup) to the cheers of our local fans that stayed long after to watch the joy unfold on ice.
After the on ice ceremonies, the real Centre Hastings tradition began, for waiting in the parking lot were two shiny red fire trucks. For as long as I can remember (over 30 years), OMHA champions have been treated to a ride through town on the fire trucks following victory. Our kids clambered on board, still dressed in their equipment, for their ride. The kids were ecstatic, as were the coaches, and the players’ siblings who were riding in the second fire truck just behind the team were having the time of their lives. It was certainly a highlight for everyone. After all…who doesn’t like a ride through town on a fire truck?
Watching the parade from the sideline where I was taking pictures, I saw the usually reserved parents hanging out of sunroofs, waving scarves out windows, and yelling back to well wishers who had come to watch the parade from the sidewalks. This hockey celebration, this parade, was just as much fun for the parents as it was for the kids. Maybe even more so. As hockey parents, we can take each win, and each loss, just as hard as our kids do. Sometimes we show our emotion, sometimes not. But at the end of the year, it’s time to let it all hang out. And let it hang out we did! To all of those parents who have children in hockey this year, who are finishing your season on a winning note, or who tried your best to but just didn’t make it this year, enjoy your year- end hockey celebration. Let loose as you celebrate another year of hard work, dedication and commitment!
And to the players and coaches of the Centre Hastings Novice A Grizzlies, thank you for a great season, for the joy you have brought your Hockey Moms, and congratulations on your brilliant success!
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