Observations From the Rink: Monctonian Day 1 Recap

He’s a Pro

It’s hard and incredibly unfair, but yesterday I saw a kid that’s going to be a pro. Sometimes you just know, if all the stars aligns and things stay the course he will be a player that plays the game we love for a long long time. The player in question was fantastic. He was one of the best natural skaters I’ve seen in a quite a long time. The way this kid handled the puck and passed the puck was truly amazing.

Obviously, he needs to keep growing, maturing and developing, but my goodness gracious this kid can flat out play.

I’m not going to name him, because that’s unfair for the kid and his family. Do you know what the best aspect of all of this is, the kid seems as grounded and humble as he could be. There’s zero entitlement or cockiness to his game. You can tell he loves the game, amd every aspect of the position he plays. He made all the subtle plays, the difficult plays with the exact same conviction and purpose. The player knew when to pick their spots, when to be “the guy” and when not to be. He just knew, which is another reason why this kid has pro potential. This kid is going to be something. Hopefully you will all get a chance to see him play, because it a was an absolute pleasure to see him apply his craft.

The Final Minutes

When you have a few minutes between games, the wave of spectators usually converge on the rinks where you can just feel and sense the energy. The Monctonian is known for that energy and electricity. Everyone gravitates to that energy in hopes of catching or capturing it, there’s nothing like the final few minutes of an intense game. If you’re lucky you will see glimpses of excellence in chance moments and that’s exactly what happened yesterday in the late afternoon.

It was a tight game in the waning minutes of the game, the goalie was pulled and that team had all of the momentum, puck possession and looked poised to tie things up.

A flurry of saves on the doorstep at point blank range, what a sequence, what an opportunity, what a save, or shall we say what saves!

When you’re just there for the final few minutes or seconds of the game you don’t always notice names, you just see the performances. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to witness a kid that has had quite the journey in the game, a kid that has fought stereotypes surrounding the game. Yesterday I saw that kid singlehandedly steel a win for his team in the dying minutes of the game by selling out, by simply competing and battling.

Yesterday I saw a kid that didn’t give two shits about his size, stature or frame. In those dying moments of the game I saw a kid that stand tall for his team. Yesterday I heard “way to go Joey” resoundingly echo throughout a jammed packed cold barn. It was the type of sequence scouts and fans alike love to see and many that know the player well come to expect. I know goaltenders are supposed to stop pucks, but Joey Hawco did it with style flair and charisma. He stole the game for his team and every single person in that rink knew it. Things might have been stacked against the team and Hawco, but that kid knows that theme all to well. The saves he made and the performance he turned in when it mattered most wasn’t a fluke, that’s who he is and what he does.

Keep proving all of the critics wrong Joey, keeping steeling games Joey.

Joey Hawco’s story is one of perseverance and persistence. All I could think of when his team poured on to the ice to congratulate him was now that’s a performance, that’s how you do it, that’s how you prove people wrong and prove to yourself that anything is possible no matter what size you are or what the preconceived notions are.

“Way to go Joey”

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