The 2016 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship came and went, Canada’s dreams of a golden repeat gone along with it. We still had the #AllHeartCanada hashtag (which won one lucky tweeter a trip to Finland to catch a game), which was not only used more than 12,000 times but also inspired TELUS to give $10,000 to the Hockey Canada Foundation to help support our future stars. Canadians were still glued to their TVs to see how Team Canada would fare in their trials abroad. Our nation still cheered as our under-2o men played the Helsinki out of the game overseas*, but it was nothing like having them here at home to see them show their opponents how to really own the ice!
It’s already been a little over a year since hockey fever last took over Toronto’s streets, and I can still remember what it was like sitting in the bleachers for Team Canada’s quarterfinal victory, only imagining what the electricity must’ve felt like in the air the moment those guys won gold.
While my family didn’t personally grow up with much hockey in the house, I learned to appreciate it a little more from friends who bled it through and through, rhyming stats and plays off like a second language. I know hockey’s no joke in this nation. If 2015 was any sign of how far this city’s willing to go to show Team Canada some love, I expect Toronto to go absolutely ballistic when the World Juniors come back at the end of the year!
You can’t win ’em all, that’s true, but that doesn’t give us any less reason to support our great athletes when they represent our country! There’s a long year ahead between now and the next time Team Canada hits the ice in their skate for the top, but when it comes, I hope to sit in the bleachers getting my cheer on, joining together with my fellow Canuckleheads to lead our boys right where they’re meant to be!
Until the next,
*The pun was sitting there waiting for me. I had to do it!