'Archie! Archie! Archie!': N.S. hockey team makes losing goalie feel like MVP
'What a class-act group of individuals,' player's mother says about Dartmouth Whalers peewee team
Eight-year-old Archie Wible's hockey team wasn't having its best game and as the goalie, he was bearing the brunt of it.
It was the quarterfinal game at a tournament in Tilton, N.H., on Sunday and his team was down 5-0 after two periods. Archie was frustrated until he got an unexpected boost from a Nova Scotia team as the third period started.
"They started chanting my name: Archie! Archie! Archie!" he said.
Behind his net, one of the teams playing in the next game was standing there cheering Archie on as he made save after save while facing a barrage of shots against a much stronger opponent.
The team doing the cheering was a Dartmouth Whalers peewee squad made up of players born in 2006 and 2007.
"When I saw the team that was cheering me on, that cheered me up a little bit," said Archie, whose favourite NHL goalie is Marc-André Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights.
He said his opponent, a Canadian team, was fast and had great shooters. Archie's team lost 10-0, a remarkable feat given his team is 28-4-2 this season.
After the game, the Whalers invited Archie to visit the team's locker room. They chanted his name, gave him fist bumps and then posed for a photo with him.
"It made me feel better about the game," said Archie.
The experience floored Archie's mother, Emily Wible. On Monday, she wrote a Facebook post about what happened, which included a video of Archie in the locker room. As of Tuesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than 50,000 times.
"I just felt like I wanted to acknowledge to their organization how much it meant and just what a class-act group of individuals I thought they were, so that's why I shared it," said the Concord, N.H., resident.
She said she spoke with an official from the Dartmouth Whalers team, who read the contents of the post to the players, as well as teary-eyed parents and coaches on the bus ride home Monday from New Hampshire. The team official then walked to the back of the bus to speak with some of the boys.
"They asked if she had been crying and she said that she was just really overwhelmed by my messages," said Emily Wible. "She was so proud of them and one of the boys said, 'Well, we were just being us and we did what we did to support him.'"
Archie has a message he wants passed along to the Whalers.
"Thank you for all the support and love," he said.