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Ontario minor hockey teams battle it out on Thorold ice

The 30th Annual Henderson's Pharmacy Tournament took place in Thorold over the weekend; 'The kids had a blast'
A scene from a previous Thorold Minor Hockey tournament.

Last weekend, the 30th Annual Henderson’s Pharmacy Tournament was held in Thorold.

The minor hockey tournament, put on by the Thorold Amateur Athletic Association (TAAA), saw 24 U9, U11, U13, and U15 hockey teams from all over Ontario battle it out on the ice.

“It was a lot of fun,” says the TAAA’s president Mike DeGasperis, in an interview with ThoroldToday. “The kids had a blast. It was a full tournament which was great. Hopefully we’re looking to expand it in the next hockey season.”

While the Thorold U15 LL1 team and Thorold U9 LL2 team made it to their respective finals, the Thorold U9 LL1 team became the champion of their age category.

To motivate Thorold players, the TAAA handed out hats to those who made their mark on the ice during the weekend.

“For players who got hat tricks and goalies who got shutouts they could come and get a free hat from the TAAA,” says DeGasperis. “It’s a little something to give back to the kids.”

Tournaments are an important part of keeping the TAAA going, according to DeGasperis.

“There’s always a draw to come to both our rep and local league tournaments every year,” he says. “It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. We’re just trying to build on that, keep making this tournament better and better each year.”

Through its tournaments, the TAAA has build invaluable bonds with other teams in the province.

“We have those teams that come back sometimes every year,” says DeGasperis. “You actually get to know some of the coaches especially. You definitely see a lot of familiar faces which is really cool.”

Organizing a tournament of this size takes a lot of time and effort and many different volunteers, but DeGasperis says it’s easy to want motivate yourself for the TAAA.

“I think everyone wants to be a part of making hockey better for the kids in Thorold,” he says. “It’s all about having fun and as long as the kids are having a good time and come to the rink to hang out with their friends — We can’t ask for anything more than that.”

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About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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