October 7, 2019 | 9:00am ET
By Matteo Pasculli, The Fourth Period

GAME ON CANCER

 
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Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer

 
 

ETOBICOKE, ON -- If you’re like me, your life has been affected in some form by cancer. Also, in your life you’ve probably played road hockey on your street as a kid.

Scotiabank has combined the two and nine years ago created Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer that raises money for the Princess Margret Cancer Centre to help cure and eliminate cancer. This year, I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the event with The Todd Shapiro Show. In just a few weeks, thanks to my family, friends and work colleagues, I managed to raise over $1,600 and our team raised over $12,000.

The event was held at Woodbine Racetrack and hosted by many members of the NHL Alumni Association. Glenn Healy and Nick Kyperos were on hand to speak and entertain all the attendees during the opening ceremonies including the Highland Creek Pipe Band to welcome 167 teams. All these amazing teams together raised a total of $3.1 million this year; it was an amazing day for hockey and cancer research as it was a world record for money raised for a hockey fundraiser.

The Road Hockey to Conquer cancer event is one of the best fundraisers in Canada and over it’s nine years has raised over $20 million to help support the Princess Margret Cancer Centre. The hockey community is a close one and together are doing an incredible job to try and eliminate cancer from all our lives. There were also a few members on hand to share their stories and there was not a dry eye left in the house.

We played all day long starting bright and early at 8:30am in the pouring rain and it was a great time even when one of my goal celebrations ended with me wiping out and entertaining everyone (my legs were burning when I wrote this – the event took place 10 days ago). Our team even won their first game in five years at the tournament; is it a coincidence this was my first year? I will let you decide. In all seriousness, I had an amazing time playing in this tournament to raise money for an even better cause.

It was great to see so many NHL alumni on hand to participate in the tournament such as Paul Coffey, Doug Gilmour, Paul Bissonnette and even the Hanson Brothers (yes, they put on the foil in case you were wondering). Together road hockey players young and old of all skill levels played to beat the ultimate disease. It was fun watching everyday people go up against professionals and Hall of Famers.

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A huge thank you goes out to everyone that helped for the event all the volunteers and the sponsors that made sure everyone had enough to eat and drink. Another thank you goes out to all the donators as without them this event would not be possible, and we wouldn’t be getting closer every day to the ultimate goal to finding a cure.

This was my first year playing in this tournament and it won’t be my last. It is frustrating for many in similar situations knowing you can’t do much to change someone’s situation with cancer, but playing in this tournament and raising money to help millions of others is the next best thing. Especially when you get to play with so many other people with amazing stories and who have done great things for this organization and charity. There’s nothing better than playing some road hockey and raising money for an amazing cause. It is so good to see how many steps we are taking every year on the road to battling and destroying this disease.

I was so happy with what my team was able to accomplish this year for this charity; hopefully next year we can raise even more and help rid everyone of this disease. It makes you realize that life is short, and we need to cherish every moment with our friends and family. It has also shown me that hockey is more than a game and is a close family and I am so happy to be part of it.

Now excuse me as I go take an ice bath until I can feel my legs again, but it was all worth it. Game on Cancer.

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Matteo Pasculli is the Ottawa Correspondent for The Fourth Period.