It’s something most Canadian kids dream of.
Growing up playing hockey, the ultimate goal is to get to hoist the Stanley Cup. And for the Tuxedo Lightning 10 A2 team, they got the next best thing.
As part of an initiative by Scotiabank, the young players were surprised when they laid eyes on hockey’s holy grail. They got to practice at the Iceplex, and they thought that was the end of the surprises.
But after they got dressed, they were led into another dressing room, where the Cup was waiting for them.
“You don’t know what to expect. they could be freaking out or just be shocked that the Cup is there,” explains Mike Bolt, Keeper of the Cup. “I’m still kind of pinching myself even after 17 years that I get to be one of the few guys that travels with the Cup. I never get tired of looking at it.”
The kids got to touch, kiss and hug the Cup and pester Bolt with questions about the trophy, like how much it costs and what would happen if it disappeared.
“Would it cause a world crisis if someone stole it?”
“Maybe in Canada.”
It was also a cool experience for the coaches, getting to see the Cup and the looks on the faces of the young players.
“It was incredible. It’s such a loud group, and the fact that they were silent told me everything,” says coach Dave. “I was excited to surprise them with it because I think this is something they’re going to remember for their whole lives.”
Every player had huge grins on their face as they sat around, waiting to take their own picture with the Cup. Flynn never thought he would get to see the Stanley Cup in person.
“On TV maybe, but never in real life. I was like, ‘This is fake.’ But when I saw the Stanley Cup case, it was like, ‘No, this is the real deal.”
The experience was a surprise for most of the players, but one had a feeling something was up.
“I did but then I still got really surprised,” says Eamon. “My dad told me.”