Some of the best young hockey players from around the country were in Edmonton this week to participate in the Brick Invitational super novice hockey tournament.
There was one team that even travelled all the way from Boston to participate in the highly touted and popular tournament held at the West Edmonton Mall.
“I took the longest road possible, from Boston to Texas and up to Edmonton,” said one parent Marc Taddia. “It was the cheapest way to get here, but you have to do what you have to do.”
“I think it’s something that seven, eight and nine-year-olds put on their calendar and say, ‘I want to play at the Brick tournament,’ said Chris Master, the coach of the Boston Junior Bruins hockey club.
'It's not just a hockey game. They are learning how to be good people in life.' - Steve Serdachny, Team Brick coach
It may have something to do with the list of Brick tournament alumni — many NHL players have participated in this tournament, including Steven Stamkos, Jordan Eberle and Jay Boumeester.
“A lot of the NHL guys, when they talk about their experiences growing up, they talk about the Brick tournament,” said Bill Comrie, who started the tournament 25 years ago.
There were even some former NHL players taking in the hockey action, including Milan Hejduk who played for the Colorado Avalanche.
“It’s unbelievable how advanced hockey is these days, even at this age group,” he said. “I know they are definitely way better than our generation was.”
Team Brick head coach Steve Serdachny enjoy the tournament because the players are honing more than just their hockey skills.
“Kids need to learn that they have to work, they have to be committed, they have to battle and they have to overcome things,” he said. “It’s not just a hockey game. They are learning how to be good people in life.”
The tournament wraps up on Sunday.