BROSSARD – There was no shortage of excitement at the Bell Sports Complex over the past four weeks, as boys and girls at the Canadiens Hockey School honed their skills and met some of their hockey idols along the way.
Over 600 Novice to Bantam level players from all over the world convened at the South Shore facility during the eighth annual summer program to develop all areas of their game, including skating, puck handling, shooting, and off-ice strength and conditioning.
|Coach P.K. Subban at work at the Canadiens hockey school. |
If the Canadiens Hockey School experience will forever hold a special place in the minds of kids on site, the same can be said for their parents, who couldn’t help but smile seeing their youngsters skate alongside the likes of P.K. Subban and Alex Galchenyuk as the program wrapped up another successful year on Friday.
“I’m really impressed by the fact that the Canadiens players make time to participate. They have a great time on the ice with the kids. The instructors are great, too. They’re teaching them proper techniques, and correcting them when they need help,” mentioned Michel Dion, whose daughter, 11-year-old Mya, made the trip from Val-d’Or to attend the camp’s final week-long session. “It’s very special to see her skate with players like P.K. and Alex. I’m a hockey player myself, and even I get chills watching her out there with them.”
The players themselves also walked away from the experience with plenty of good memories after making one child after another smile time and again.
“Every time you have a chance to put a smile on a child’s face, it puts a smile on your face, too. It’s great to be able to participate in this type of program and have fun alongside the kids. I hope they remember these experiences for a while,” underlined Galchenyuk, who was taking part in Canadiens Hockey School festivities for a second time.
“We take pictures with the kids, so you have to smile a lot. I’ll probably have some sore cheeks. But, it’s important to take good pictures so kids can put them on the wall at home. I might pout for a little while to give my cheeks a break,” added Galchenyuk with a laugh. “I never had the chance to participate in this type of camp when I was younger, but if I had the chance, I definitely would have gone. If I could’ve been in their shoes – or their skates, for that matter – I think it would’ve been an incredible experience.”
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Matt Cudzinowski.