BRANTFORD— No doubt playing in the Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament was a huge thrill for the Brantford 99ers Novice MD 3 team which they will never forget.
“They were super excited to play at home in front of fans representing the 99ers,” Brantford coach Matt Gibbons said. “Their skating has really improved and they were playing as a team and playing well positionally.”
Getting their moment to shine, this Brantford MD Team 3 squad got to showcase their developing skills when from Friday December 27th through to the 30th they competed in six grueling games at what was a packed Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre.
“There were a lot of high caliber teams,” Gibbons said. “We rose to the challenge. This is all about development, having fun and challenging the kids.”
Among those players wearing a big smile after Monday morning’s final game against the Waterloo Wolves was 7 year-old Gryffin Francis who was awarded player of the game.
“I felt happy,” Francis said. When asked what he liked best about playing in the tournament Gryffin smiled before replying, “Making friends on the team.”
What served as a real big highlight was the fact that every player received a medal as there was no keeping track of scoring or wins and losses.
“I hope that every time they play, that they develop a love for hockey,” Gibbons said.
Also being awarded earlier with player of the game was Knox Gibbons who was all smiles when asked about what he liked best about the tournament.
“I liked playing different teams that we never played before,” Knox Gibbons said. Gibbons who is a big Toronto Maple Leafs fan said, “Passing,” as the thing his team excelled have excelled at this year.
Judging from the smiles and laughter, it’s safe to say that the Brantford 99ers Novice MD 3 team had fun and created some life -long positive memories which is what hockey is all about.