Playing under the lights at the Wascana Lake rink was already inspiring to the young hockey players, but the sudden arrival of the Regina Pats really inspired them to give it their all.
About 40 kids in Regina’s Ehrlo Sport Venture outdoor hockey league had just started playing at Wednesday night’s Frosty Regina Winter Fest when a blaring bus horn announced the team’s arrival.
“This big, blue bus stops and starts honking like crazy, so everyone stops and turns around and it’s the Regina Pats bus,” said Nathan Clearihue, whose eight-year-old son played Corbin.
There was “an explosion of excitement” and play stopped as the Pats players approached the rink.
“When the planks began to fall on the ice, [youth] The players lined up and started chanting, “Go Pats, go, go Pats, go,” Clearihue said. Then the Pats players skated past them and boom, they were playing hockey together.
“Just non-stop chatting, non-stop hockey.”
Clearihue said the kids play harder when WHL players jump on the ice.
Corbin was shocked to share the ice with his hero Connor Beddard and the rest of the Regina Pats.
Corbin said, “It was really fun, they did tricks on you and played the passing game with you.”
Clearihue is grateful that the entire Regina Pats team has joined the young players.
Clearihew said: “Of course Bedard deserves all the attention he gets, but last night it wasn’t all about him.” “It involved all the other players too and it was a huge team effort and all the kids ate it like crazy.
“Corbin was very happy that the players spoke to him and visited him.”
Clearihue said Corbin had visited the players at an autograph session the night before, but sharing the ice with them would be a memory he would never forget.
“To be able to play with him was in a whole different league,” said Clearihue. “It was something else.”