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A Story of Sportsmanship - What Hockey Is All About

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 01/30/23, 12:15PM EST


"Our hockey family isn't just our team, it's every team."

Today, I am writing to you on behalf of the coaching staff for the Bradford Bulldogs U15 MD team.
In a game in December, an unfortunate incident occurred towards the end where our goalie tried to play a puck in our zone. He accidentally collided with a player from the Ajax-Pickering team and immediately hit the ground. After being cared for by our staff, a representative from Ajax-Pickering left the stands and also tended to Emerson on the ice. I suspect that she was either a medical doctor or nurse practitioner. After a few minutes, our coaching staff instructed me to call paramedics and they tended to Emerson and transported him the hospital.  
For the approximately 40 minutes that Emerson was on the ice, both teams took a knee and waited patiently. When Emerson was eventually loaded onto a stretcher, the echo in the arena was deafening as both teams banged their sticks on the ice as a show of support. Once both teams had exited the ice, the Ajax-Pickering player who was involved in the collision came to our dressing room to apologize for the unfortunate incident. In our opinion, this was one of the classiest moves that any player could ever make, as he undoubtedly felt terrible about the incident which was unavoidable.  
But my writing to you is to express sincere gratitude on behalf of our Bulldogs team for the outpouring of support that our team has seen from the Ajax-Pickering head coach and his entire parent group. They sent me an e-transfer with a substantial amount of money, following a collection that his team took to support Emerson and some of the fallout from that evening. To tend to his injuries, paramedics not only had to cut off Emerson's jersey, but his chest protector. As you can appreciate these pieces of equipment can be costly for any player, but goalies always a bit more. The support and the class shown by this Ajax-Pickering squad was never expected and it goes without saying that this team has really stepped up to support a fellow player in need.  We can't thank them enough for their generosity, their compassion and interest that they have shown towards our team and specifically Emerson.

All coaching staff teach the kids to win respectfully and to lose respectfully in the game. That being said, it's just as important that our hockey families be leaders on the ice as they are off the ice. The parents and players from Ajax-Pickering have really demonstrated what being part of a hockey community is all about.

Together with the funds that Ajax-Pickering has donated, in addition to a collection that our team organized, we helped get our goalie back on the ice - with a brand new jersey and chest protector. We're thrilled to have Emerson back between the pipes with our team.  
We can't thank Ajax-Pickering enough for their generosity and their class. This leadership starts with parents, transcends to our coaches and is then passed along to our players on the ice. Needless to say that Ajax-Pickering is doing a fine job and we can't wait to see them the rest of the season. Regardless of the score, these teams battle hard and it's great to know that we have two great associations that can support one another both on and off the ice.

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