Young hockey players honoured the memory of a boy who inspired a long-running hockey tournament Friday night, with a surprise gesture that involved their jerseys.

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A Pee Wee tournament is held each year in the memory of Neil Maynard. ((CBC))

The host team in the Neil Maynard tournament wore the same jerseys that Maynard himself wore until a brain tumour took his life in January 1991. He was just a few weeks short of his 12th birthday.

Maynard's parents came to drop the ceremonial puck Friday night for the annual tournament, which has drawn Pee Wee-age players from as far away as Gander.

They did not know, though, that the host team would be wearing the same jerseys that Neil had used.

"[Neil] was an excellent student and a passionate hockey player. He was a strong and dedicated player who was devoted to his team and did not know what it meant to quit," an organizer told CBC News.

Click on the video above for scenes from Friday evening.