Hockey mom captures kids in action
Gayl Hawkins' website savvy made her this week's Our Game Star
The Scarborough Young Bruins atom AA team isn't professional.
But thanks to Gayl Hawkins, players might feel as if they are.
Hawkins is the website manager of her 10-year-old son Spencer Gaunt's team. But she does much more than post stats and schedules.
Thanks to the dedicated hockey mom, players can go to the team website to read play-by-play accounts of their on-ice efforts and view pictures of themselves in action, complete with music.
Recently, Hawkins took her web-savvy skills from the team site to her Our Game profile. For the past month, she's been blogging about the Bruins' playoff run in the Our Game Community and posting pictures of all the action.
It's why she's been chosen as this week's Our Game Star. As part of being selected, she'll be featured on Hockey Night in Canada and could win tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Hawkins has been involved with minor hockey for six years and says reporting on the Bruins' games is "a lot of fun."
"I put pictures on there, I'll write about the tournaments and games, and I'll put music on with it to inspire and motivate them," she said.
The 45-year-old Toronto resident, who has another son, Colton Gaunt, 9, is in the stands at each of her kids' games. With Spencer's team, every goal, every save, every highlight is carefully noted and later documented online.
Calling her playoff-series blogs, "Team Ugly is Ready," part of her entry on March 4 read: "In the third period it was an all out battle. TA [the Toronto Aeros] had to score to have a chance to advance the series. That was not happening at this game as Aidan 'super-sonic' Conlon took a beautiful pass from Griffin Madden to get the third goal. The come back would be very hard now and the Bruins knew it. They started to play Bruins hockey. Jack Carter got the fourth goal on a power play assisted by Madden and Liam Andrews. Now TA knew they were done…"
"During the playoff series it's been the most fun," Hawkins said. "And you want to make sure you involve all the kids, so you're always looking for what you can include."
In what she described as an "unusual" game, four boys ended up in the penalty box. Hawkins' pictures of the four boys peering over the boards were a hit with the team.
"I put the song, Let's Get Ready to Rumble with the pictures. It was very funny because they're not usually the physical kids," Hawkins said.
Hawkins said she's always loved hockey, and recalls going to watch her brother's 5:30 a.m. games when she was growing up.
"That's when I started to love the game," she said, professing her undying love for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Today, she loves watching Ovechkin, Crosby and Brodeur, but says her two favourite stars are her kids.
"It's a fun sport, and I would love that every kid could have chance to play," she said, noting how expensive the game has become.
"It's sad, because there's quality talent out there all over the place, and sometimes kids won't get in because they can't afford it," she said, noting that she always emphasizes to her kids that they should be grateful for the opportunity to play.
Become an Our Game Star and find out how to win tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals.