On Saturday November 9, 2019, the Rogers Hometown Hockey celebration was in full swing in Downtown Welland, and our Pelham PW LL1 Panthers hockey club was happy to participate in the excitement!
The PMHA and the peewee Panthers would like to sincerely thank Rogers, Scotiabank and the Welland Minor Hockey Association for providing our players with the opportunity to visit and celebrate our collective hockey community at this special once-in-a-lifetime event.
Coach Claire rallied her excitable Panthers players & parents to brave the strong winds of the first cold day of the year, grab their gear, throw on the toques, and head over for the afternoon to see what the excitement was all about behind City Square.
The Panthers ended up having a great time!
The players were treated to some NHL2k action, some tasty Dr. Oetker’s pizza, and the tour of the Hometown Hockey setup located behind Welland City Hall.
Our Panthers were invited to participate in some road hockey inside of the rink that had been set up as well.
One of the highlights of the day was getting the private meet & greet with Welland native, WMHA graduate, and former Sabre and Bruin - where he raised the Stanley Cup for Boston in 2011 – Mr. Daniel Paille.
Dan had taken time out of his schedule to come “home” to celebrate the hockey community of Welland and surrounding area.
Dan – known as one of the most genuine and kindest players during his NHL days – was able to meet each of the Panther players, sign some items for them, and take a team photo! Dan appeared on Hockey Night in Canada Saturday and will be again at the celebrations Sunday.
Sportsnet will be featuring many of the Welland NHL players during the show on Sunday including Paille, and also other greats: Dan Girardi, Matt Ellis, current Arizona Coyote radio voice Paul Bissonnette; and also PMHA goalie technical coach Nick Vitucci. What an amazing contribution to the world of hockey our neighbors in Welland have made to pro hockey, which also includes current Islanders assistant captain #22 Cal Clutterbuck.
The PMHA, and Coach Claire’s Pelham LL1 PW Panthers, are so appreciative of the opportunity to have experienced such a fun afternoon with our neighbours in Welland. Again, a special thank you to Rogers, Hometown Hockey, and Scotiabank
for running such an amazing celebratory event. The tour visits communities throughout Canada, but also actively seeks participants within and next to each location, to come and enjoy the fun too, which only furthers the love of the game. Not only was Pelham invited, but players from St. Catharines, Thorold and Pt Colborne were all included in this celebration as well!
The support presented and opportunity given to Coach Claire on behalf of PMHA, and the team, is appreciated beyond words! Thanks to Scotiabank!!!
In conclusion, special notes of Thank You again need to go out to Scotiabank, Rogers, Sportsnet, and also to Bill Marr and the Welland Minor Hockey Association, for another memorable hockey experience for Pelham kids and for all of the neighbours who came to visit the City of Welland during Hometown Hockey.