posted Dec, 2010
Hello friends and family!
Thank you for your support of the Donald Sanderson Memorial Trust Fund in 2010.
2010 was a year full of activity for Fund and all our friends.
January 2 – the first annual Skate to Rememberin memory of Donald at Scugog Arena
in Port Perry. Thanks to the huge group who joined in for a celebration and a very
successful food drive.
You’re all invited to join us to start 2011 on the ice Jan. 2, 2011 at 9:30 pm for an
hour - Skate to Remember and Food Drive. RSVP to email@example.com so we know to expect you. Please bring a non‐perishable food item with you.
June 2010 ‐‐ the first OHA Donald Sanderson Award and bursary was presented
at the annual OHA awards event at the Hockey Hall of fame.
Thanks so much to the OHA ‐‐ www.ohahockey.org ‐‐ for establishing this award
in memory of Donald and to help other young players in their future education.
Congratulations to Cody Loeffen – Port Colborne Pirates
Think First Canada ‐‐ Dahna Sanderson accepted invitation to be on Board of
Directors for Think First Canada. ThinkFirst is a national non‐profit organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries. www.thinkfirst.ca
The 2ndannual gift to RH Cornish Publish School in the name of the Principal’s Award for
Student Leadership was awarded. Donald was the first recipient of this award in
Congratulations to Callen Hageman, the 2010 grade graduating class recipient.
A monetary gift is given to the school honoring the recipient of this annual award.
This young leader is to work with the school to identify how the monetary gift is to be
used to enhance the school community at RH Cornish.
July 14 – the 2ndannual fundraising golf tournament at Royal Ashburn in Whitby.
Thanks for all golfers, sponsors, supports, friends, family and volunteers for a beautiful
Mark your calendar for July 14, 2011 for the 3rdannual event.
Let us know your interest with an email to reserve your place on the course.
Send email to donaldsmtf.@gmail.com
Stay tuned for more information coming soon – it’s our major fundraising activity of
the year and we look forward to having you and your friends join us. 2011 will bring
a lower registration fee with other modifications to the program thanks to your feedback.
August 31 – York University Symposium on Sport Concussion was held.
We are pleased to be the key sponsor to bring this event to athletes, sports trainers,
coaches, and more. Spread education and information about concussions to help in the
prevention is an ongoing goal of the DSMTF. Thanks to all involved in this successful
and informative event. We’ve started initial conversations to set up a web site for the
fund and are looking forward to having this project in place within 2011. Stay tuned.
November 5– the 2ndannual Tomorrow’s Leader scholarship award was presented
during Port Perry High School’s Commencement ceremony.
Congratulations to Heather Shearer, the class of 2010 recipient of this award. And,
Stephen Humphrey, the class of 2009, recipient.
Your ongoing support is greatly appreciated and your financial contributions during the
year and at our annual fundraising event help immensely to make the awards possible as
well as gives us the ability to support events like conducted at York U this summer.
Live, Love, Laugh Today is the present... value the GIFT every day!
posted Aug. 22,2010
The York University community was saddened when our student Donald Sanderson tragically died from injury sustained from a concussion during a hockey game. Donald fell during a fight, hit his head and went into a coma until he died a few weeks later.
Donald’s family is helping the School of Kinesiology & Health Science share important knowledge about concussion management with you and the community. We believe in keeping more people healthier, longer through education and invite you to attend a symposium on this vital topic.
complete text can be found at http://www.yorku.ca/health/events/?Event=19734
JULY 14, 2010 ... 2nd Annual Donald Sanderson Golf Tournament! posted Mar 22, 2010
I'm sending you this note to invite you to be part of a very important event in my life. The annual Donald Sanderson Celebrity Golf Tournament, honouring my son's memory and focused on raising funds for the memorial fund in his name.
The first Donald Sanderson tournament in 2009 was an amazing success... we hope you will join us for this year's event. It will be a great day and your participation will support worthy causes that represent and support the legacy left by a young leader.
Your participation is welcome however you are able. We are seeking Sponsors, golfers, volunteers, prizes, silent action items and more. All the details are on the attached brochure.
There is an earlybird registration draw for all who register to golf by May 15. We have a limited number of spots for golfers (144 total) so please spread the word and act fast to reserve your place. We have had a number of requests to reserve places so we know spots will fill up quickly.
At the tournament all Golfers have a signing 'bonus' of gifts valued at $120 or more. Lunch will be provided before the Shot gun start at 1pm; dinner following a day of golf; a silent auction; and for those who love some friendly poker the evening will cap off with some fun with card.
For our 2010 tournament the list of celebrities is growing. From the NHL Alumni here are just a few personalities who will be joining us...Dave Reid, Ron Tugnutt, Steve Larmer, Curtis Foster and Kris King.
Looking forward to hearing from you and please spread the word to your friends, family and assoicates. Thanks for letting me know how you would like to be involved.
Dahna Sanderson Tel: 905-868-4382
Live, Love, Laugh Today is the present... value the GIFT every day!
Please join us ... JULY 14, 2010 ... 2nd Annual Donald Sanderson Golf Tournament!
Donald Sanderson Memorial Trust Fund
c/o Dahna Sanderson
104-11 Oneida Cres
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 0A1
2009-2010 Home Opener (Sept 25, 2009) Pictures posted Oct 15, 2009
At the Home Opener, Sept. 25th. 2009, Don Sanderson's #3 Jersey was retired in a ceremony attended to by Don's Mom - Dahna Sanderson, his Uncle - Dave Jackson, and his Grand Parents - Mr. & Mrs. Don Jackson, along with many of our Alumni that played with Don in the 2007-2008 campaign, and Brent Ladds - President of the OHA.
Additional pictures of the Home Opener and Don below.
THANK-YOU LETTER FROM DAHNA SANDERSON
September 26, 2009
Jr. C Hockey Club
C/o 227 Boyers Road
Keswick, ON L4P 3C8
Attention: Glenn Ulrich, President
I wanted to express our sincerest appreciation to you and your organization for the special sweater retirement ceremony in my son’s honour at your home opener on Friday September 25, 2009. The fact that you were playing Port Perry, the town in which he grew up and loved to be a part of seemed quite appropriate as well.
Donald loved every moment he was with your organization. It was a very happy time in his hockey career as he was able to be part of the 2007-2008 winning season as the COJHL champs. I will always remember that final game when they won and seeing him have a chance to along with his teammates, as he said to me, raise ‘his cup’, in victory on the ice and celebrate. It is very special that he will always have a place with The Ice as you have retired his #3 officially; the banner in his honour is a gesture appreciated beyond anything any words can express.
On behalf of all Donald’s family and loving friends, please express our overwhelming gratitude to the players, volunteers, sponsors, staff and everyone who makes up The Ice team. Congratulations on the win over Port Perry on Friday; all the best for a success, safe and happy season.
May Donald’s memory always have a place within your hearts. We wish for you to embrace your life, not just your sport, with the same uninhibited passion Donald did for his short 21 years with us.
Live, Love and Laugh!
PS --While it seems a long way off, I want to be sure that you do save the date of July 14, 2010 in your calendar to be part of the 2nd annual Don Sanderson Celebrity Cup Golf Tournament. We will be having it again at The Royal Ashburn in Whitby.
Brent Ladds (President OHA) and Dahna Sanderson
Corey Skene (Port), Mayor Grossi, Dahna Sanderson, George Slinko (ICE)
Dahna Sanderson and Georgina Ice President Glenn Ulrich
Captains and Alternates
Mr. & Mrs. Don Jackson, Dahna Sanderson, Dave Jackson
To us, Don Sanderson was a Hockey Player, a Team-mate and a Friend. To many others his name as become synonymous with an outpouring of emotion for change throughout the hockey world. Many people have varied opinions on the issue of fighting in today's game.
I do not intend to express an opinion on such but yet prefer to use this medium to help convey any information pertaining to Don. Today, I was sent a copy of an interview with Michael Sanderson (Don's Father) in MacLean's Magazine. I feel it is only fitting to post it to our website in Don's Memory, to help keep our local fans and friends of Don's informed. Please see the " Reflections of Don Sanderson " section of our website, to read the interview with Michael Sanderson. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael and Dahna and their families, as they try to make sense of such a horrible tragedy.
Glenn Ulrich President
GEORGINA ICE HOCKEY CLUB
Don Sanderson Celebrity Cup Golf Tournament,
to be held on Don’s birthday, July 14th (tues) at the Royal Ashburn Golf Club in Ashburn, Ontario.
Click Here for Brochure and Registration form
(and additional details)
Message from Don's Mom,
In honor of my son's memory many of his wonderful colleagues and sports family have pulled together to launch the Don Sanderson Celebrity Cup.
The goal is for this to become an annual tournament with net proceeds to the Donald Sanderson Memorial Fund.
Sponsors, golfers, volunteers, prizes...you can participate however you are able. The attached brochure will give you some more details on this event.
All Golfers have a signing 'bonus' of gifts valued at $120 or more.
We have a limited number of spots for golfers so please spread the word and act fast to reserve your place. Please note that single golfers are $250 per person.
The list of NHL players past and present is growing!
Looking forward to hearing from you with any feedback, questions and support.
Donald loved to golf and this event is being launched on July 14, his 22nd birthday. He's always been one to enjoy a great party... looks like it could be an amazing event!
Dahna Dahna Sanderson Tel: 905-868-4382 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Live, Love, Laugh
Today is the present... value the GIFT every day
MacLEAN's MAGAZINE INTERVIEW with MICHAEL SANDERSON
Full article by Charlie Gillis/Maclean's is found HERE
You’ll never get rid of it entirely.” Michael Sanderson spoke those words to practically anyone who would listen in the days following his son Donald’s death. And in a nation suffering no small amount of guilt over a senseless loss, they were received as absolution. In the depths of his grief, this man got it, the self-styled purists said. He’s played the sport. He knows fighting is embedded in it. He won’t use the death of his 21-year-old son—by universal account about the best kid you could ever meet—as a pulpit to rail against that which sets the game apart. “Other people won’t understand this,” Don Cherry told his coast-to-coast audience after attending Donald Sanderson’s memorial service in Port Perry, Ont. “But Mike is a hockey guy.” Yet on this subject, more so than any other, we Canadians don’t listen closely. Or we hear only what we want to. So if you’ve been gathering your information on this slow-moving controversy from Coach’s Corner, it may surprise you to learn that Michael Sanderson would in fact love to see fighting eliminated from the game. You may be shocked to hear he supports measures that would suffocate the practice. Automatic ejections? “Helluva rule.” Requiring players to keep their helmets and visors on during fights? “Great. If they know they’re going to be punching plastic with their bare hands, they’ll eventually stop.” As for that stuff about “never getting rid of it,” well, the pro-fighting advocates appear to have missed Sanderson’s point entirely. It’s part and parcel of his argument that throwing players out of games and fining them would limit fighting to blue-moon incidents, which can then be severely sanctioned. He cites football, baseball and basketball as sports whose ejection rules have made fighting look “frigging ridiculous.” “They have a fight every once in a while,” he says. “I mean, it’s going to happen. But mostly guys just don’t bother.” Oh, and one more thing: he’s no friend of Don Cherry, with whom he says he has “issues.” “He said we sat there like we were buddies [at Donald’s funeral],” Sanderson says tightly. “I’m, like, no we didn’t.” Not buddies, not fellow travellers, not allies in a rearguard action against the bleeding hearts. If truth be known Michael Sanderson shares the view of a growing number of Canadians who sensed the ground tilting after the Jan. 2 death of Donald Sanderson, whose head struck the ice after his helmet came off during a fight. Don was no household name: he played for fun with a senior-level team in Whitby , Ont., between classes at York University . But for anyone who has talked hockey over a tray of cheap draft, it was a whispered fear come true. Someday, someone’s going to get killed, we warned ourselves. And now that someone had, it seemed hypocritical not to act. In the days following Sanderson’s death, six out of 10 respondents told a Leger/Sun Media poll they favoured banning fighting from all amateur hockey. The Ontario Hockey League, the province’s top junior circuit, meanwhile, banned players from removing their helmets to fight. Yet when the discussion came around to the NHL—the last and most influential bastion to keep fighting alive in the game—it ran up against the same old immovability. Sure, a few progressive minds wondered aloud about whether it’s time to discuss the issue (Colin Campbell, the NHL director of hockey operations, promised to raise it next month at a meeting of general managers; Ken Holland, the GM of the Detroit Red Wings, applauded). But by and large, Holland ’s peers held firm. Only two of 18 surveyed by TSN support stiffer punishment for fisticuffs, while the league-wide response to Campbell ’s proposal was best articulated by Toronto ’s Brian Burke. “I think that will be a very short discussion,” he said. “I am not in favour of it.” The importance of this resistance is obvious. More than mere professionals exercising their freedom to engage in the occasional fist fight, NHL players are beacons youngsters follow into the game. But rather than change, the players, their bosses and the media commentators have circled themselves in dubious arguments for the status quo. Fighting protects talented players from cheap shots, they say. It serves as a release valve for emotions. The fans love it, and so on. There are a host of reasons to question these assumptions—starting with the quaint notion that fighting is the wrong way to resolve our differences. But like Michael Sanderson’s true feelings, they get drowned out by patriotic bluster. The time has come to shout a little louder. That fighting is embedded in the DNA of hockey is hard to dispute. It is said that the first game played indoors under written rules ended in a fight, as players at McGill University in Montreal scuffled with members of a skating club who wanted to use the ice. That was 1875, and it followed several accounts of outdoor hockey devolving into fist fights and stick-swinging incidents in Toronto and the Maritimes. The rationalizations came later—most notably the idea that a contact sport played at such high speeds needed fighting as an outlet for anger. “Nothing relaxes the boys like a good fight,” said Francis “King” Clancy, the legendary Toronto Maple Leaf of the 1930s, in a flash of Irish bravura. Clarence Campbell, the NHL’s long-time president, popularized the “safety-valve” trope, warning that, without fighting, “the players would no doubt develop more subtle forms of viciousness.” These notions took hold, and were allowed to calcify despite an abundance of contradictory evidence. Study after study has demonstrated that violence leads only to more violence, notes Stacy Lorenz, a University of Alberta professor who has studied the history of violence in hockey, while some of the most traumatic moments in the game were either sparked by fighting, or occurred despite its prevalence. Maurice Richard resorted to his fists again and again in response to the slashes and ethnic slurs he endured as a Montreal Canadien. Yet his combativeness did nothing to discourage—and arguably spurred—the opponent who cut his face with a high stick, provoking the epic meltdown that led to the Richard riot of 1955 (a wild-eyed Richard broke his stick across the shoulder of his attacker, Hal Laycoe, and punched a linesman in an attempt to get at the Boston Bruin). Meanwhile, the cheap shots went on, reaching their apogee in the 1970s, when the Philadelphia Flyers were the Broad Street Bullies and fighting was commonplace. The league was forced to crack down on bench-clearing brawls. But pugilism remained, and in today’s NHL, a perceived cheap shot can lead to endless cycles of retribution, with players waiting several games to exact revenge on an opponent they believe has taken liberties. The idea, says Rob Ray, a former tough guy with the Buffalo Sabres, is to ensure talented players aren’t injured by bigger, tougher opponents. “You can use Wayne Gretzky as an example,” says Ray, who now works as a TV analyst. “He always had somebody looking over his shoulder, protecting him, allowing him to play the game the way he could.” Trouble is, many cheap shots are committed by practised fighters—no doubt because they are unfazed by the thought of dropping the gloves should they need to. Egregious examples include the forearm shiver Toronto’s designated fighter, Tie Domi, laid during the 2001 playoffs on Scott Niedermayer, an all-star defenceman then with the New Jersey Devils; or Dale Hunter’s blindside elbow on Pierre Turgeon during a 1993 playoff game between the Washington Capitals and Turgeon’s New York Islanders. A more recent spate of attacks suggests the problem has deepened, as small-time pugilists take liberties with players who don’t typically fight. In October 2007, Jesse Boulerice, a dime-a-dozen fighter with the Flyers, levelled Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks with a cross-check to the face. That play came just two weeks after Steve Downie, another minor tough with the Flyers, concussed the normally peaceable Dean McAmmond with a flying elbow, putting the Ottawa Senator out of action for 10 games. This season, Ryan Hollweg, a spare-part agitator with Toronto , was suspended for three games following his third misconduct in nine months for boarding—essentially, hitting from behind. The Leafs forward has been branded a coward for those hits. But he is no shirker in the fisticuffs department, fighting 19 times in the two seasons leading up to his suspension. So the theory that fighting limits dirty play doesn’t hold water. Nor does the idea that it protects ultra-talented players from the indignities of a rough game. In the last couple of weeks, NHL fans have been treated to the spectacle of superstars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Semin throwing punches after opponents crossed the line (Semin, who can be seen on YouTube, looks rather like an angry toddler). You can’t, evidently, have a thug riding shotgun all the time. Still, the pro-fight lobby holds to its catechism, insisting the mischief would abate if enforcers were given more latitude. Their latest target is the so-called “instigator rule,” which they say emboldens cheap-shot artists by giving extra penalty minutes to players who pick fights to even the score. That would be a lot more persuasive if officials actually used the instigator rule. Since it was introduced in 1992, the number of infractions has steadily dwindled to about 50 per year, out of 1,230 games. Meantime, fighting has been booming following a post-lockout low of 466 in 2005-’06. At the current rate, 2008-’09 will end with 789 fights, or 0.64 fights per game, according to the website Hockeyfights.com. It is possible, as the foregoing numbers suggest, that 94 per cent of those fights will have been started by no one. But it’s a lot more likely that the league is trapped in a vicious cycle, where fighters are doing the cheap shots, the cheap shots are leading to more fights, and the officials have given up trying to stop them. It is tempting under the circumstances to throw up one’s hands. “These are professionals, and they are adults,” notes Dave Morissette, a former enforcer who now provides NHL analysis on RDS in Quebec . But even Morissette, who fought relentlessly in the minors to get his shot at the NHL (11 games with Montreal ), was shaken by the death of Sanderson—a player who like so many Canadian boys grew up idolizing NHLers. For Morissette and for others, qualms about fighting have always revolved around these younger players, whom he believes should be protected from the fighting culture until they are ready to turn professional. “I think they should get it out of junior hockey completely,” he says. “Let those players play hockey.” Morissette’s reasons are rooted in psychology—the kind learned by one who must prepare mentally for a nightly maelstrom of fists. “In my first year of junior, I wanted to quit by Christmas,” he admits. “You don’t sleep at night, because you’re not thinking about hockey anymore. You’re just thinking about your fights. You’re 16 or 17, there are 2,000 people at the arena. There’s your teammates and your girlfriend and your dad in the stands and you really don’t want to get your ass kicked. So are you thinking about scoring goals? No. You’re thinking about that fight.” The syndrome can carry a player to frightening depths. Morissette made waves four years ago by admitting in a book that he had taken steroids in order to match strength against the muscle-bound giants entering the league. Today he wonders what fury these behemoths will unload on their future victims. The same fears were on Ken Holland’s mind when the Detroit GM weighed in on the debate. “Some of these guys are six foot seven, six foot eight,” he told the Globe and Mail. “They weigh 245 or 250 lb. In the old days they were six foot one, 185 lb.” Indeed, the dangers are plain to anyone who cares to look. Thirteen days after Sanderson’s death, Daniel Carcillo, a young forward with the Phoenix Coyotes, thumped his bare head against the ice in a fight with Vancouver ’s Rob Davison, who stands six foot three and weighs 220 lb. “When I saw that,” says Michael Sanderson, “it sent a chill through me.” Carcillo escaped serious injury, but the following week, a minor-league forward playing for the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, suffered a seizure after falling helmetless into the boards during a fight, his legs shaking uncontrollably and his eyes rolling back in his head. He was kept overnight in hospital, but appeared to be recovering.
None of this appears to have fazed the NHL brain trust. “I don’t think there is any appetite to abolish fighting from the game,” commissioner Gary Bettman told reporters this week during All-Star festivities in Montreal . “I think our fans enjoy this aspect of the game.” Still, the league might take a harder look at fighting’s effect on its product. Far from encouraging rugged play, fighting and its concomitant urge for retribution have turned even clean hits into violations of the NHL’s supposed “code of honour.” A mid-ice hip check that 10 years ago would have been considered part of the game now induces a dreary round of shoving and scuffling. Star players who fans pay dearly to see are pulling up on their checks so as to avoid these scenes, while the Hollwegs and Downies roam around unchecked. A case can be made that fighting is actually making the game less tough.
The eye-for-an-eye mentality has also led to blowout incidents that have bruised the game’s reputation among prospective fans. Marty McSorly, after all, was trying to goad Donald Brashear into a fight in February 2000 when he swung a stick at the Vancouver Canuck’s head, resulting in a high-profile assault prosecution. Todd Bertuzzi’s infamous attack on Steve Moore in 2004 was payback for a hit on Markus Naslund, the Canucks captain, in a previous game between Vancouver and the Colorado Avalanche. That Moore had already answered the proverbial bell by fighting with Matt Cooke made the attack all the harder to fathom. If fights are any kind of safety valve, why do these dramas drag on? The league’s answer to such questions is as familiar as it is blithe. “We believe we’re adequately and appropriately policing our own game,” Bettman said in the wake of the Bertuzzi incident. What the commissioner fails to grasp is that the rest of the world does not share its view of hockey as a self-governing kingdom. “Violence in sports is father to violence in everyday life,” said Judge Sidney Harris of the Ontario provincial court in 1988, setting down a precept the justice system has upheld ever since. The public appears to agree. In poll after poll, Canadians say they look upon hockey as a means to teach values like respect, discipline and grace under pressure. Fully 54 per cent of respondents to a Harris-Decima survey conducted last week said they oppose fighting in the NHL. Here lie the moral contradictions the league cannot—will not—address. We teach our children that punching another person is no way to resolve frustration. Why is it thought reasonable in hockey? More to the point, is fighting not antithetical to the concept of athletic competition? What are rules and officials for, if not to prevent players from taking justice into their own hands? Why should they serve this purpose in other contact sports but not hockey? Football, to name just one, is a physical game, featuring 300-lb. men throwing themselves at each other at high speed. But head shots, blocks in the back, pushing your hands into an opponent’s face are deemed penalties. And if two players finally do lose their cool, the referees don’t stand back while they remove their helmets and start swinging. Perhaps Wayne Gretzky summed it up best: “Hockey is that only team sport in the world that actually encourages fighting. I have no idea why we let it go on.” It’s not as though getting rid of it would be difficult. Automatic game ejections followed by escalating fines and suspensions would likely do the trick—not eliminating fisticuffs altogether but, as Sanderson says, making them ridiculous. Minor hockey associations did it long ago, reducing fighting to a few pathetic parodies in which players cuff each others’ face cages, gloves still on. As for the canard that old habits die hard, one need only consider the NHL’s own example: by near-universal opinion, the league’s crackdown on obstruction and stick offences has been a grand success. Like clockwork, the lower leagues have fallen into line, taking their cues from the pros and juniors. It was a clear demonstration, if any was needed, that a few rule amendments and some perseverance on the part of officials can change a sport for the good. Sanderson, for one, doubts the hockey would suffer one bit if fighting were gone. He points to the Stanley Cup playoffs and world junior championship as series that feature next to no fisticuffs, yet offer some of the game’s most punishing physical play. “It’s open, it’s fast, and the referees let them play,” he says. “We watch because it’s exciting. We don’t watch it for the fights.” He’s been speaking these truths insistently but quietly, so as to avoid heaping guilt on Cory Fulton, the Brantford , Ont., player who was fighting Don Sanderson when he went down. “There’s another person to think about here,” he says. “Being a dad, and trying to be sensitive to both sides, it’s hard to speak out.” But make no mistake: should Donald Sanderson’s death prove the turning point in this ancient debate, that would be just fine with his father. “At least we could say something good came out of it,” Michael says. “Right now, nothing’s good for me. I don’t have my buddy. I can’t see him, I can’t talk to him. There’s gotta be a reason for that. You can’t tell me the Lord took him for nothing, because he was just too good of a kid.”
REFLECTIONS OF DON SANDERSON
By John Jamieson
It was with great sadness that the Georgina Ice and the Whitby Dunlops, along with the Hockey community in Canada, lost Don Sanderson after a 3 week battle in critical condition at Hamilton General Hospital . Don had sustained a serious head injury during a game between the Whitby Dunlops and Brantford Blast in Brantford on Dec. 12, 2008. Although Don’s passing has raised some questions about the use of helmets in the game with speculations of what may result in the future, the ICE would like to take this opportunity to reflect on what Don meant to our hockey club, as well as his contributions to the game in general. Don lived his life around the game of hockey…plain and simply put, it was his passion. He put a lot of devoted time and effort on and off the ice from the time he was a boy right through the time he was in the junior hockey ranks. When he reached the age of 16 Don worked hard to earn his spot on all levels of junior hockey, he tried out for many junior teams in the Greater Toronto area with little or no success. Don earned a spot playing Junior “A’ hockey for Ajax during the 05/06 hockey season and then went on to play for Trenton . He had decided at the beginning of last season to focus more on his studies at York University as well as devoting his time to coaching a girls hockey team. Mid-way through last season Don decided he wanted to get back into playing as he had missed playing the game he loved. The Georgina Ice were a team enjoying a successful season and were battling it out with Lakefield for 1st place in the Central League. Don came to our hockey club which had already a solid defensive core with players like Andy Lamoureux, Joel Hanley, Brandon Gouveia and Shane Habib. What Don brought to the table was a little more size and a lot of toughness. Don also brought a work ethic to our dressing room that was second to none as he worked hard in games and practices. Don’s contributions to our team played a great part in the teams success down the season stretch as well as what was a valiant and successful play-off run. One of Don’s happiest moments in the game and in life was being a part of the team hoisting the Cougar Cup in Sutton Arena after defeating the Lakefield Chiefs in the League finals. The team played into the month of April and fell just short in a 7 game series with the Napanee Raiders in the OHA Provincial Playoffs. Ironically Napanee was the only other team he played with at the Junior “C” level.
Don #3 - Central Ontario Champs/Cougar Cup
When reflecting on Don’s contributions and efforts Ice President Glenn Ulrich felt that “22 players like Don on a team can make a championship team for sure” and “his work ethic was second to none”. Head Coach Jeff Evans who played a role in signing Don said the “he brought much needed toughness and intensity to our club.” And finally as General Manager, I recall Don making a thunderous open-ice body check on a Lakefield player with the Ice leading the game 4-1 with 3 minutes remaining in the game the night we captured the Cougar Cup. As the team was celebrating on the Ice with the Championship Don skated over to me and thanked me for giving him a chance to play and I told him that “we don’t give chances, you earn them.” When Don was asked about the body check he made in the dressing room he responded “I don’t care what the score is, as long as the clock is ticking I keep playing.” The hockey community truly lost a great competitor, team mate and coach last Friday. Don will be missed by the many who knew him especially by those who had the pleasure of working and playing with him.
Don - Standing 2nd from Left