In Canada, the Kids Are All Right

Photo from The Amherst Daily News

Despite the brawling that takes place in the NHL, kids in youth hockey leagues in Canada are showing great sportsmanship. Here are two recent examples:

The atom A Houston Wild, a youth hockey team from Houston, had planned for a year to play in the Bell Capital Cup in Ottawa. But after stormy holiday weather cancelled their flights and forced them to scramble for new ones, they arrived in Ottawa without their equipment.

The Bell Capital Cup manager sent out a call for equipment, and the atom B Canterbury Knights responded.

“We made calls out to the team and without question seven people, without question, said ‘Yup you can use my son’s equipment,'” Knights manager Arnold McLean told Ottawa Citizen reporter Darren Desaulniers.

McLean and his son Jackson collected the equipment and delivered it to the Wild, who were extremely grateful. Head coach Paul Veillette said, “It was just outstanding that they were going that extra mile… It really showed what Canadians will do to help people out.”

The Wild were able to play, and the Knights got to experience the joy of giving. Knights player Cameron Ritchie said, “I wanted to help even though I didn’t know them… It made me feel pretty good, because I know it would feel good for us if someone had lent us their equipment so we could play.”

Meanwhile, 1200 kilometers away in Amherst, Nova Scotia, the Cumberland Pee Wee A Ramblers were playing against Tyne Valley for the championship in the George Trainer Holiday Classic. But before the third period began, the Ramblers players made a decision. As Angus McPhail writes in the Amherst Daily News, “When they realized there would be no medal or prize for the second place team, the Ramblers approached their coach, Geoff Phinney, and asked him if they could give the runners-up their prize if they won.”

The Ramblers did win, and as each player received his championship sweater, he or she skated over to the opposing players and gave it to one of them.

Trina Clarke, mother of a Ramblers player, said it was the nicest thing she’d ever seen at a hockey game. “In 20 years they may not remember who won the banner,” Clarke said, “but they’ll certainly remember this.”

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