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Southern boys lace up for Northern fun

Published on

Troy Shantz

The Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning may not have scored a win at the International Silver Stick tournament in Forest earlier this month, but the youngsters from Florida won’t soon forget their first game of outdoor pond hockey on Lake Chipican.

“This was a lifetime experience for the boys,” said Rich Bahret, who’s son Zach plays defense for the Peewee B squad, which went winless at the Jan. 5 and 6 tourney – a first trip to Canada for many of the boys.

“My son had never seen snow until this trip,” Bahret said.

The Tampa Bay Jr. Lightning Peewee B squad experienced playing pond hockey for the first time at Sarnia’s Lake Chipican in Canatara Park recently. Photo submitted by Greg Grimes

Before venturing home, hotel staff suggested the Jr. Lightning make their way to Canatara Park for an old fashioned game of shinny on the city’s signature inland lake.

Point Edward resident Greg Grimes spotted the team’s coach bus at the park and stopped to chat with the visitors, who said the impromptu skate was, by far, the highlight of their trip.

Grimes snapped some photos of the action, and his Facebook post has been shared by hundreds – with many of the Florida parents and coaches chiming in.

“Our record during the tournament was a distant second to the experiences these boys were able to have,” wrote coach Andrew Slezak. “From talking to the boys from each team they played, to seeing teams play a totally different style of hockey, to playing in the snow – it was something they will never forget.”


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