Here are some links to a wonderful holiday hockey story that shows what the caring power of one person can do – no matter how young or how small.
And the final score is Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation $124,637.67, Ice Hockey in Harlem $83,370.93.
The kids from Snider Hockey topped their New York youth hockey rivals in a friendly fundraising competition that began with the drop of the puck at the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers game on Nov. 25 and ended around midnight on Nov. 29.
The battle for bragging rights was part of #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide.
During the competition, donors and supporters of the two minority-oriented youth hockey organizations visited the websites of Snider Hockey and Ice Hockey in Harlem to make contributions, or gave via mail or in person.
With their victory, the Philly kids were crowned #FaceOffChamps. As part of the competition, the Harlem skaters – who normally wear Rangers colors – must don Flyers orange and black T-shirts and proclaim their love for their dreaded turnpike rivals on Ice Hockey in Harlem social media sites.
It’s that time of year again.
Time for turkey and stuffing. It’s also time for the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers to beat the stuffing out of each other in a National Hockey League Metropolitan Division matinee the day after Thanksgiving at Philly’s Wells Fargo Center.
The Philadelphia-New York rivalry won’t be limited to the ice that Friday. Philly’s Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and New York’s Ice Hockey in Harlem will use the game to face off in a grudge match of their own- for good causes.
The two mostly-minority youth hockey organizations will engage in a head-to-head fund-raising battle when the Flyers-Rangers puck drops at 1 p.m. EST on the 25th.
The competition is in recognition of #GiveTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and organizations to encourage philanthropy and celebrate generosity worldwide.
Folks interested in participating in the challenge can do so by visiting the respective websites of Snider Hockey – www.sniderhockey.org – and Ice Hockey in Harlem – www.icehockeyinharlem.org – to make contributions online. Donations can also be done by mail or in person.
For the kids, the challenge is about bragging rights.The organization that raises the most money will be crowned #FaceOffChamps.
If Snider Hockey wins, a group of players from Ice Hockey in Harlem must wear Flyers T-shirts while sharing ‘Ice Hockey in Harlem LOVES the Philadelphia Flyers’ on IHIH’s social media pages.
Should Ice Hockey in Harlem win, Snider Hockey students must share their love for the Rangers on Snider Hockey’s social media pages while sporting Rangers gear.
“The real winners of this friendly competition will be the boys and girls of both programs who, through hockey, are learning life lessons and how to succeed in the game of life,” said Snider Hockey President Scott Tharp.
Ice Hockey in Harlem Executive Director John Sanful agreed.
“Snider Hockey and Ice Hockey in Harlem are committed to improving the social and academic well-being of children through the sport of ice hockey,” Sanful said. “This initiative will positively impact many deserving boys and girls.”
The two programs are part of “Hockey is for Everyone,” an NHL initiative that provides support and unique programming to some 40 nonprofit youth hockey organizations across North America.
It offers children of all backgrounds the opportunity and access to learn to play hockey at little or no cost.
People wishing to make donations or pledges to Ice Hockey in Harlem for the #GiveTuesday challenge can do so online or send donations to the attention of Ice Hockey in Harlem Executive Director John Sanful, 127 West 127th Street, Suite 415, New York, New York, 10027.
Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation supporters can make donations or pledges online, a dated check by mail, or by contacting Snider Hockey Development Staff at 215-952-4125. Flyers game attendees can also drop off donations at the Snider Hockey kiosk outside of section 108 during the hours of the competition.
“This is my legacy.”
Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider and I were standing in the middle of a dry, under-renovation ice skating rink in West Philadelphia in 2011 when he made the remark.
He looked the picture of health then. Tennis-tanned and trim with his slicked-back snow white hair offering a contrast to his jet black warm-up jacket with the orange logo of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
The rink – the Laura Sims Skatehouse at Cobbs Creek Park– belonged to the city. But Snider helped spruce up the previously down-and-out semi-enclosed facility and three others, kicking in $6.5 million of a $13 million renovation program.
Snider Hockey was his, created in 2005 to teach the Philadelphia-area’s at-risk youth about the world of possibilities beyond their neighborhoods and life skills lessons through the prism of hockey. When the program needed more ice time for some 3,000 kids and growing, Snider ponied up to help enclose and modernize the public rinks without flinching.
He was a billionaire who sported two Stanley Cup rings and desperately thirsted for a third. He was a driving force in the National Hockey League, and a giant in sports and entertainment fields – but all those accomplishments took a back seat to Snider Hockey.
“It’s the only thing I’ve ever put my name on,” he told me for a story about the program was published in 2012. “We’re going to fund it properly and when I’m no longer around hopefully it will be a program that will go on forever. When I see what we’ve done for young children who may not have been able to accomplish what they’ve accomplished, what greater satisfaction in life can you get?”
Ed Snider, the fiercely proud patriarch of Philadelphia ice hockey, passed away early Monday in California at the age of 83 following a two-year fight with cancer.
Much of discussion of Snider’s life Monday centered on his role with his beloved Flyers, and rightfully so. But he also left a legacy with Snider Hockey, establishing one of the top non-profit, minority-oriented youth hockey programs in North America, if not the world.
According to Snider Hockey, 95 percent of its participants perform at satisfactory or above in core classes; 99 percent achieve grade-to-grade promotion; 85 percent of high school seniors continue their education in some form beyond high school.
“Ed created the Flyers professional, no-nonsense culture, fostered their relentless will to win and set the highest standards for every activity on and off the ice, including such initiatives as the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and the Flyers Wives Carnival,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday.
In a statement announcing his passing, Snider’s children said their father “was a man with deep convictions and never hesitated to promote causes in which he believed.”
“His children and grandchildren will continue his philanthropic mission for years to come through the work of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (Snider Hockey) and the Snider Foundation,” the statement said.
John Sanful, executive director of Ice Hockey in Harlem, said “Mr. Snider’s greatest achievements come through his philanthropic efforts.”
Ice Hockey in Harlem Thursday will get the best gift that the organization could receive this holiday season: Its home rink back.
New York City’s Parks Department announced Wednesday that Central Park’s Lasker Rink, initially thought to be shut down for most of the winter because a major problem with its refrigeration system, will reopen on Thanksgiving Day.
“We want to sincerely thank everyone within the hockey community who came together on our behalf,” IHIH Executive Director John Sanful said. “It was a positive response, unlike any I’ve personally seen in some time. We are really looking forward to resuming our season again at Lasker Rink.”
Parks Department officials said all hockey games, practices and skating lessons at the Harlem rink are scheduled to resume on Monday. Since the rink abruptly shut down on Nov. 14, Sanful and IHIH officials have been trying to determine where the program’s 240-plus kids would skate and play during the 2014-15 season.
But IHIH’s worries ended when the parks department, which runs the rink with the Trump Organization and the community, managed to speed up the repairs to the rink’s valves and concrete slab.
Since its inception, Ice Hockey in Harlem has done what many folks considered impossible.
It’s taken at-risk black and Latino kids from one of the city’s more impoverished areas and not only hooked them on playing hockey, but used the sport to expose them to a world beyond their neighborhood and to the world of possibilities if they stay in school and pursue life’s positive path.
The group’s presence helped revive a down-and-out outdoor rink in a part of New York where few white people dared to venture, making it a welcoming, family-friendly destination – a lynchpin in an evolving Harlem where people of all colors now live, shop, and dine.
“Hey, if Wayne Gretzky can go near 110th Street to hang with the kids at the Lasker Rink in the 1980s, why can’t I go skating there now” has become the mantra. Like Harlem’s Apollo Theater, the Lasker Rink is a place where everyone wants to play.
The Philadelphia Flyers practiced there in 2012, so did the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011 and the Ottawa Senators in 2010. Boston University worked out with the IHIH there last year, ditto Union College in 2012.
But Ice Hockey in Harlem has been Lasker’s longest-running act, calling the rink on the north end of Central Park home since the organization’s creation in 1987. That run was interrupted over the weekend when the New York’s parks department suddenly announced that it was shutting down for the 2014-15 season to make major repairs to the facility’s refrigeration plant.
The shutdown sent Ice Hockey in Harlem, one of the nation’s oldest minority-oriented youth hockey programs, scrambling to find a place for over 240 kids to practice and play.
“We’re working on an emergency plan,” John Sanful, IHIH’s executive director told me. “I don’t have details yet, but suffice to say we’re committed to making the season happen.”
Sanful called the shutdown “a setback” but added that Ice Hockey in Harlem will do what it’s always done: overcome.
“It’s a minor setback, as with any situation beyond your control,” he said. “Ice Hockey in Harlem is stronger than it’s ever been. We will continue on and the future is very bright and very strong for Ice Hockey in Harlem.”
Still, there are no easy or ideal solutions for IHIH’s current predicament. New York is a city of 8.2 million people, but there are only seven indoor year-round ice sheets in the area.
Developers of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center are hoping to build the world’s largest ice skating facility in the New York City borough of the Bronx, a short subway ride from Harlem. But the mega rink in a massive renovated armory is years away.
Looking to solve their here-and-now dilemma, Ice Hockey in Harlem officials sent its squirts and Lady Harlem hockey team to practice Saturday in Brewster, N.Y., nearly 60 miles from New York City.
Whatever IHIH does for the rest of the season will likely cost the nonprofit some money. Ice Hockey in Harlem depends on the hockey community and donations for funding.
The organization, founded by Dave Wilk, Todd Levy, and former New York Rangers player Pat Hickey, is part of the National Hockey League’s “Hockey is for Everyone” initiative which provides support and unique programming to more than 30 non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America.
Programs affiliated with”Hockey is For Everyone” help lower the biggest barrier that keeps many minority and poor kids from playing the game: The expense. Organizations like IHIH, Philadelphia’s Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, and Washington’s Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, provide free equipment, ice time, and instruction.
In return, kids in the programs must stay in school, be in good academic standing, and be respectful people. Most of the programs provide academic assistance – tutoring, computer access, college counseling – and mentoring.
While the NHL assistance is beneficial, IHIH is almost always in fund-raising mode. They host an annual “Benefit on the Green” golf tournament that attracts current and former NHL players along with corporate and private sponsors.
People inside and outside IHIH stress that its goal isn’t about building good hockey players. It’s about building good people. Levy’s voice filled with pride recently when he talked about Malik Garvin, who he use to coach on cold Harlem nights at Lasker.
Saturday, Garvin scored his first goal on his first shot for Western New England University, an NCAA Division III school. The Golden Bears lost to Suffolk University 3-1, but Levy said Garvin, a 22-year-old senior, was still a winner.
“He epitomizes what we want for all our kids…not the goal he scored but the fact that he is a double major – finance and accounting – and has used his love for hockey to propel him in life,” Levy. a member of the IHIH board, told me. “The sad irony is that with our rink closing this year, I fear that the next Malik will be prohibited from this kind of life success.”
There’s a really nice article in The Philadelphia Inquirer today about the Nomads, a mostly-minority rugby team from the city’s rugged North Philly section: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20140526_The_raw_joy_of_North_Philly_s_young_ruggers.html.
The story got me thinking, “What is it about the City of Brotherly Love and myth-busting in sports?”
Black people don’t play hockey. Meet Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, who led his team with 29 goals this season. Visit the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, a program that’s introducing a small army of children of color to the joys of hockey.
Polo is a sport for the rich and famous. But someone forgot to tell that to Lezlie Hiner, a University of South Carolina graduate who established Work to Ride, an equestrian program in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park that attracts kids from the poor and working class neighborhoods nearby. In 2011, the program produced the first all-black polo team to win the United States Polo Association’s national interscholastic championship. The program repeated as champs in 2012. Her program put a black polo player in college. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/sports/Work_to_Ride_African_American_Polo_Team_Wins_National_Championship_Philadelphia-118270169.html.
Then there’s Jim Ellis and PDR. He began an all-black swim team out of a West Philadelphia pool in the 1970s that became a competitive juggernaut and the inspiration of the 2007 movie “Pride.” I had the pleasure of writing about Ellis and the movie that year for what was then AOL’s Black Voices:
On the gritty streets of Philadelphia , long before Rocky Balboa threw his first punch on the silver screen or ‘Invincible’s’ real-life Vince Papale set foot on an NFL field, Jim Ellis was quietly forging a sports legend — and shattering myths. For more than 30 years, Ellis been the driving force of the swim team at Philadelphia Department of Recreation — PDR — a program that has turned black youths from novice tadpoles into top-notch competitive swimmers and cast aside the long-held racist stereotype that black people can’t swim.
What began with 35 black kids at a tough West Philadelphia neighborhood pool in 1971 grew into a juggernaut in the mostly white world of competitive swimming in the 1980s and 90s with more than 150 children taking lessons or competing in meets. Several of Ellis’ charges swam their way to college scholarships and U.S. Olympic team tryouts.
“It was my contribution to the black consciousness movement,” Ellis says. “It was doing something they said we couldn’t do. It was a way of getting kids out of the neighborhood, exposing them to other things and greater possibilities.” Hollywood has discovered Ellis’ against-all-odds story and made it into a movie. “Pride,” which stars Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac and Tom Arnold, opens in theaters nationwide in March. Lionsgate, an entertainment company riding a string of successful black-oriented films like “Akeelah and the Bee,” Tyler Perry’s “Diary of a Mad Black Woman,” and “The Original Kings of Comedy” is producing “Pride”
Ellis, a 59-year-old Philadelphia public school teacher and department of recreation employee, says he still can’t believe the movie was made — especially with Howard playing him — even though he watched it being shot last year in Baton Rouge, La. “I’m excited, I’m happy, I’m thrilled, but it’s kind of weird,” Ellis says. “I saw the movie trailer and saw Terrence (Howard) say ‘I’m Jim Ellis.’ It’s kind of unreal, something I never expected to happen.”
But if anyone’s story deserves telling, it’s Ellis’, according to officials at USA Swimming , the body that helps develop the sport and selects the Olympic team. “Jim Ellis is an icon, particularly because of his dedication to his sport and community, generating national team talent in an area where swimming is just not on the radar,” said John Cruzat, USA Swimming’s first-ever diversity specialist. “And he does it at a parks and recreation facility with little or no resources.”
Ellis and USA Swimming officials hope “Pride” will prompt more black people to learn how to swim and eventually take up competitive swimming, a sport where black athletes are just beginning to make a splash.
Cullen Jones set a meet record in the 50-meter freestyle at the Pan Pacific Championships in Canada and became the first black swimmer to break a world record when he swam in the 4 x100-meter relay. The feats earned the former North Carolina State University swimmer at $2 million, seven-year endorsement contract from Nike, the company’s richest deal ever for a sprint swimmer.
Maritza Correia — recently featured in an Black Voices profile of black athletes in non-traditional sports — became the first black woman to make the U.S. Olympic swim team in 2004. Despite the accomplishments, the number of black competitive swimmers remains small. Less than one percent of the nation’s 232,000 competitive swimmers are black, according to USA Swimming.
More disturbing, Cruzat and Ellis say, is the high number of blacks who die in drowning accidents every year in bodies of water as big as oceans and as small as bathtubs. The Centers for Disease Control lists blacks as an at-risk group for drowning. A CDC study found that blacks drown at a rate 1.25 times higher than whites. Black children between the ages of five and 19 drown at a rate 2.3 times higher than white children in the same age bracket do. Ellis says it’s not that blacks can’t swim. It’s that they don’t. A lack of exposure to swimming, lack of funds for lessons, and limited access to suitable swimming facilities — particularly in urban areas — are factors that hold many blacks back from the water. Then there’s the centuries-old myth that blacks and water don’t mix. Studies from as late as the 1960s suggested that blacks had a unique buoyancy problem that prevented them from being competent swimmers. The studies were later discredited, but not before some people took the findings as gospel.
In 1987 former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Al Campanis , explaining on ABC’s “Nightline” why blacks could never become baseball field managers or team executives, argued that swimming proved that blacks didn’t have what it takes to reach the top.
“The just don’t have the buoyancy,” Campanis told an astonished Ted Koppel.
“I put that one on my bulletin board,” Ellis recalls. “For motivation.”
But Ellis believes white racist attitudes aren’t solely to blame. He says many blacks are equally guilty for buying into the stereotype, dismissing swimming as a white country club activity or avoiding the water because it’s better to look good than to swim well.
“You still hear people talking about swimming, black females talking about not wanting to get their hair wet, or folks talking about not wanting to catch colds,” Ellis says with a sigh. The reluctance from within the black community and resistance among some whites within organized swimming to embrace a black swim team didn’t deter Ellis from building his program. But he and some of his former students admit it wasn’t easy. Ellis recounts tales of going to swim meets where officials were loath to announce the winning times of some of his swimmers. If a PDR swimmer won a heat, Ellis says, it wasn’t unusual for white parents to approach him and ask what he was feeding his team. “Parents would accuse us of being on steroids,” says Atiba Wade, 28, who swam for Ellis for 11 years before attending the University of Georgia on a swim scholarship. “Things like that were very sobering. But you can never let it diminish your spirit. You don’t let things tear you down.”
That’s a lesson Wade says he learned from Ellis’ tough-love coaching approach. The heat pump at city-run pool where his charges practice at 5 a.m. doesn’t always work. The some of indoor facility’s windows won’t shut, allowing a winter breeze that adds a chill to water that’s already ice cube cold. There’s no state-of-the art weight room or fancy locker room, like some of the more affluent swim programs have.
But Ellis says those factors shouldn’t be a roadblock from succeeding — in or out of the pool. “He’s tough, but not a brutal taskmaster,” says Wade who interrupted his training schedule for the 2008 Olympic team trials to swim as body double for actor Kevin Phillips, III in the movie. “He encourages you, doesn’t want you to quit. Jim sets the bar at an Olympic standard, at a world-class standard.”
Ellis caught the attention of Hollywood after a writer read a profile about him in The New York Times five years ago and approached the coach about writing his life story. Ellis agreed, but thought nothing of it at the time. “He sent me stuff. I read it and threw it in the trash, he sent some more, threw it in the trash,” Ellis recalls. “Then he sent me a contract. After that, things happened within a year.”
Lionsgate films got interested in the story and sought A-list stars like Howard, who earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for playing a drug-dealing pimp-turned rap artist in “Hustle & Flow,” to be in the film.
“He’s a bright young man, energetic and very intense,” Ellis says of Howard. “He hung out for about a month before the shoot, hanging out with the kids. I don’t how he picked up so much about me.” The glory years of the PDR team have past, Ellis admits. A program that boasted 150 people at its peak is now down to about 40 kids. Ellis continues his hard-charging ways though, barking stroke combination and times from the slippery deck of the pool. He’s hoping that the upcoming movie will produce a renaissance in his program and maybe, just maybe, persuade some generous entrepreneurs to help build a world-class training facility to teach minorities to swim for fun and competition.
“If you gave me what some of the country clubs have what the established white teams have, we’d put someone in the Olympics,” he says with a competitive glint in his eye.
Myths, stereotypes, and misconceptions are hard to shake, but folks in Philadelphia are showing that they’re up to that task. They’ve got game – no matter what game it is.
Being a black ice hockey player in Great Britain in the 1980s wasn’t exactly a walk in Hyde Park. Eddie Joseph can attest to that.
“I went to a place called Sunderland, near New Castle, I remember walking into the ice rink in Sunderland and a 10-11 year old little kid came up to me, rubbed my hand and said ‘Oh, it doesn’t come off,’ recalled Joseph, who played semi-pro hockey for the London Rangers and Lee Valley Lions. “That’s what the country was like. There were parts of this country where there were no black people at all.”
Times have changed in Great Britain, along with population demographics and
attitudes. When Joseph takes the racially and ethnically diverse East London youth hockey teams that he coaches on road games today people barely bat an eye.
“When I was playing, this country was very different – I was racially abused,” Joseph told me recently. “Today, it just doesn’t happen. People are so much more enlightened.”
Joseph didn’t envision it when he retired from semi-pro hockey at the age of 32, but he’s a hockey lifer. When he’s not carrying a night stick as a London Metropolitan police sergeant, Joseph is holding a hockey stick and coaching kids ages 10 to 18 and teaching them to love a sport that he says he owes everything to.
“It’s my passion,” said Joseph, 52. “Hockey has been the most constant thing in my life. I don’t know why the game bit me as it did, but it did.”
Joseph just wishes more folks on his side of the pond felt the same way. In the land of Big Ben, fish & chips, and One Direction, ice hockey is obscured by the large shadows cast by soccer, cricket, rugby, field hockey and tennis.
“To say it’s a minority sport is overplaying the word minority,” Joseph told me recently. “It’s such a small game in this country.”
With a population of nearly 64 million people, Great Britain has only 6,798 ice hockey players, according to International Ice Hockey Federation statistics. Of that group, 2,289 are men, 3,815 are junior players, and only 694 are female.
The IIHF ranks the country 22nd in the world in men’s hockey and 18th in women’s hockey. An IIHF founding member in 1908, Great Britain used to be a beast in ice hockey. Team Great Britain captured a Bronze Medal at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France, a Gold at the 1936 games in Germany, and experienced international success with teams comprised mostly of Canadian-born players
But as Canada gained independence from the monarchy, Great Britain’s hockey prowess faded. It hasn’t had an ice hockey team in the Winter Games since 1952.
When Brits do think ice, most of them think figure skating, Joseph said. Robin Cousins, Tim Curry and the pairs team of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean brought Olympic Gold and notoriety to the country in recent decades.
“Ice rinks aren’t necessarily ice hockey-friendly,” Joseph said. “Figure skating is more popular here than ice hockey because over the years we’ve had success at that sport. Whereas with ice hockey it’s ‘What is it, who is it?'”
But that hasn’t stopped Joseph from preaching the gospel of hockey in his East London community and around the country.
Joseph returned to hockey when his son, then 10, said he wanted to play the game. Joseph went to the Lee Valley where his hockey odyssey began only to discover that the game was no longer played there.
“Hockey had pretty much died at the ice rink,” Joseph recalled. “I was fortunate that when I went back to the rink I met a lady there who was one of the rink directors. She said ‘Hockey would be a great idea.’ The rink manager wasn’t very keen, but she was one of the directors of the company that runs the facility.”
After receiving coaching training, Joseph started a hockey program with about 15 children once a week. Today, Lee Valley has about 125 hockey players spread over five youth teams and an adult squad.
About 25 percent of the players are minority – black, Asian, Arab and Jewish, Joseph said.
The hockey program draws many of its patrons from the East London/Hackney area, historically one of London’s poorest communities. Spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on hockey equipment and ice time isn’t the first priority for most families in the neighborhood.
So the Lee Valley rink does what U.S. programs like New York’s Ice Hockey in Harlem, Washington’s Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club, Philadelphia’s Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and other non-profit NHL-affiliated “Hockey is For Everyone” organizations do and minimize the cost of the game for those interested in playing it.
“The people that walk through our door and want to give hockey a go can’t afford to buy the kit, can’t afford to buy skates,” Joseph said. “So what we, people with a like mind to myself, do is we’ve done fund-raisers, we’ve bought equipment so we can just say to kids ‘Here you go, you can borrow this from us.’ I think it doesn’t necessarily go down well with our hockey establishment here, but we are more akin to a charity than we are to an ice hockey club.”
Joseph can identify with the needy patrons. He was a 14 year-old boy in the rough-and-tumble neighborhood when he and some mates walked into the Lee Valley rink, saw hockey, and were instantly captivated by a sport they never knew existed.
“I grew up in one of the worst parts of London, if not the country. I had friends who were killed, friends who were in prison – it was that kind of area,” he told me. “And for some reason, they put an ice rink up in this place. It gave me something other than hanging around the streets. In my circles, I got to see our country playing hockey. It gave me a sense of pride, gave me some value, some worth.”
No one confused Joseph for the next Wayne Gretzky. Between 1984 and 1993, Joseph tallied 54 goals, 68 assists and racked up 271 penalty minutes.
“I was never a great hockey player, but I served a purpose on the team and they signed me up every year,” he said. “Yeah, I got a bit of a reputation for being a scrapper, nonetheless I wanted to play hockey.”
He hopes the rest of Great Britain will, too, someday soon.