On March 20,I finished my last hockey game as a Spartan, ending a lengthy journey filled with memories that will be with me forever. Starting as a clueless Grade 10 who only wanted to learn and develop in the game he loved while having fun with his teammates, to a Grade 11 year filled with adversity, as many faced all over the world, losing the ability to play their sport due to the pandemic. It’s a memory that will never leave any of us.
Although it was hard, we did find the light at the end of the tunnel. The feeling of normal came back, with the team playing games and going on memorable trips. It really felt like life had colour again. For example, Minnesota, where we slept on an airport floor with little to no sleep then went on to beat the third-ranked team in the U.S. Or New Jersey where we finished a lengthy losing streak that at times felt unbreakable. Plus many trips to Toronto, finishing in fine fashion by bringing a trophy back to campus and making Spartan history. A memory that will never leave any of us.
So why am I having these feelings of nostalgia and looking back at my Spartan hockey career? It all started in a Plattsburg Chick Fil-A, sitting with Aksel, Liam, Hito, Yoan, Chaka, Nathan and Max. Aksel remarked that our Stanstead hockey career was finishing in the same place it started, Lake Placid, New York. Playing against the same team, the same format and in the same rinks. Talk about a full circle.
When I first heard this, it hit hard. I started to think about all the memories I had made during my time at Stanstead. I then fell into a moment of sorrow that this journey of ups and downs was coming to an end sooner rather than later. My senior year was ending, and I was soon leaving everything behind. It was at that moment that I realized why not go for it. Why not take these memories and use them to make something that you want to be remembered as.
Later that night, as I was staring up at the ceiling before going to bed, I made a goal to finish my final weekend off strong and end my career on a high note. Although we lost the first game 2-1, we came back on Sunday and created a little miracle of our own. We won our last game against a good Northwood team, contributing to a memorable moment for all the seniors, as it was our last game in the Spartan uniform.
The moment was emotional. Even though we had won, there was still an empty feeling in my gut. “What do I do now? I asked myself. I sat there pondering this question in the stall while trying to find an answer and I couldn’t. The only thing I could think about at that moment were the memories of wearing the red and white the past three years that had turned me into who I am today. From getting a puck in the neck when on the bench in a prep game against John Rennie to three years later winning the national championship with a great group of guys.
These memories are ones that will never leave me. No matter where I am or where I am going, good or bad, through these next chapters of life I will forever have these memories and moments that I can call mine due to my time at Stanstead.