One year in high school, our coach arranged a couple of exhibition games in Toronto. One of them was against the Sir John A. MacDonald Collegiate Black Scots. It was during their spirit week and they invited us into their school for a winter barbecue I think although I cannot remember if it was before or after the game.
I don’t remember the score or even if we won or lost. I do remember that a couple of years later when I went on to University, with one of my buddies from that team, we met up with a couple of guys from that very team who were in the same program as us. Ironically, one of them was nicknamed “Blacker”, as funny a cat I’ve ever met.
Hockey has been a wonderful source of such friendships in my life. It’s become a common refrain for my kids to ask me “hockey or work?” when I bump into someone in public who is obviously an old acquaintance and they are wondering from what part of my life this person comes from. More often than not, the answer is “hockey”.