Memories and mental health the mix at memorial hockey tourney

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It’s been nearly 20 years since one winning provincial midget team from Mallaig laced up their skates as a group, but this weekend, the crew joined together once more to hit the ice for a good cause, and to remember the teammates that were no longer with them.

When Richard Marcoux heard about the Demeria Memorial Hockey fundraiser, he thought of the boys he had once coached as they made their way to provincial glory.

“It just dawned on me because it was 20 years ago,” said Marcoux, adding that a couple of former players had since passed away, and the cause of mental health awareness was one that everyone on their team felt was worth supporting.

“That was the motivator,” agreed co-coach Owen Isaacson of why several of those old teammates didn’t hesitate to come out once again for the co-ed hockey tournament, with some of them bringing their own sons out to join them on the ice.

The reunion was one that was filled with nostalgia, and talking about old times, said Marcoux, adding, “It meant a lot to them to talk together again.”

And while Marcoux’s son, Corey, was one of those teammates that has since passed away, his son Carter joined his grandfather on the ice, and together, the team of all ages made their way to the final on Sunday afternoon, where they won against the No Pucks Given team.

For Jaimie Amyotte of the Jorge’s Amigos team, one of five that joined the tourney, supporting mental health was also the reason she got involved, as she noted the issue of mental health is one that impacts “our whole community. It affects everyone.”

But besides supporting a good cause, the event offered a great time, she said, adding, “It was an awesome weekend; we’d definitely do it again.”

Running the tournament again will depend on getting more volunteers to put the event together, said organizer Rae Michaud. However, she noted that she did get a lot of positive feedback from people attending.

Michaud added she had “tremendous” support from the Mallaig community, with several people stepping up to run the kitchen and help out.

“It makes you feel what you’re doing is the right thing,” she said, calling the weekend – “amazing” and “heartwarming.”

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