For some, sitting in an arena watching a hockey game, or a series of hockey games is just about the sport being played. A lot of the time, the stories behind the game or event is just as special as the game itself. This past weekend’s Leo Boivin tournament is a good example.
The tournament itself goes to show that rural communities like Morrisburg or Prescott can put on as good, if not a better, event than major cities. The story of how the organizing group came together to keep the tournament going shows the resiliency of a small town, and a good can-do attitude.
Then there is The Row. I first encountered The Row while covering Jr. C Rangers games in Cardinal. The Row is an experience-and-a-half, especially at these tournaments. A group that cheers on the players, jeers the referees when they get it wrong, and is a booster to the hockey community, in whatever community they are in. Sitting in the stands, The Row raised $500 for the South Dundas minor hockey program in the span of a couple of games. Well done everyone.
Then there is Bubba. I learned about Bubba talking to the coach of the Ottawa Jr. Senators after they won the tournament. Bubba is the grandfather of the team’s captain Brendan Bays. Bays’ grandfather passed away on the opening day of The Leo tournament. Bays returned the following day because Bubba was very supportive of his hockey activities. He wanted to play in memory of his grandfather. Stories like this show how much heart there is in a community, no matter the sport or activity.