YOU didn’t back check …

Pro hockey player Connor Jones’ inspiring stories on life, hockey and everything in between.

The Trail Times is pleased to welcome Montrose native Connor Jones as a contributor in his column called Top Shelf Stories. (Submitted photo)

By Connor Jones

One of our first ever hockey tournament games. I think it was in senior novice. We lost 16-6.

Kellen, my twin brother, and I each had a hat trick though. So, being seven years old we thought we had a pretty dang good game, despite the result.

So Kel and I happily left the arena. Our tiny selves opened the heavy doors as snow whipped in and pounded our faces. Between gusts of wind, we searched for our van’s dull brake lights. Found it, jeez, could they park any further away? We trudged through the snow with our hockey bags, that were almost bigger than us, over to the van (the rule being we always had to carry our own gear). Looking identical, with blonde buzz cuts and matching, bright blue Beaver Valley Minor Hockey jackets, we opened the trunk, chucked our gear in and hopped in the back seats.

I can’t remember who broke the silence after it was strangely quiet for the first couple of minutes on the drive home. Someone had the audacity to ask my parents what they thought about our performance. The two of us in the back, joyously thinking, ‘wow, we played pretty good eh? Three goals and three assists each, way to go.’

I’m sure it was me now who asked. A confused young boy who wanted to hear a little praise and also, was very curious as to why our parents hadn’t offered to take us to McDonald’s to get McFlurries to celebrate our great game.

Wow. I wish I kept my mouth shut. Our mom told us the truth and she was completely right.

She went off the rails. It was a complete verbal bloodbath.

Now, imagine hearing curse words throughout the entire next two paragraphs.

“You weren’t any good. You played too soft, you two were bullied by the other team. You fell down too much, didn’t move your feet, didn’t back check, and coasted the entire game! You didn’t pass enough! Whined at the referee! You showed poor body language and gave your poor goalie dirty looks after he let in some bad goals!”

My dad is now pulling over the van near the train tracks at Bluebird Corner. We see him give my Mom a quick squeeze on the arm, “Loretta…”

“No!” She cuts him off, “They need to learn!”

She doesn’t miss a beat. “If you two ever play like that again, then you won’t be playing hockey anymore! If you’re going to do anything, you better give it your all! I don’t care what it is! Hockey, or school, chores, whatever! That’s what we expect, your best effort! Always!”

Maybe it was a bit harsh, but it was some of my Mom’s finest work.

Fully blubbering, we arrive home after the longest six-minute drive from the Beaver Valley Arena to Montrose.

Mom and dad get out of the van to head inside, but the two of us stay in our seats trying to pull ourselves together. Unable to move, we were so upset. Finally, once we were able to speak between cries, two tiny seven year olds promised one another we would always work our hardest, on or off the ice. Making sure this never happened again.

More importantly, we weren’t going to ask Mom what she thought about our games for a few years.

******************
******************

The Trail Times is pleased to welcome Montrose native Connor Jones as a contributor. With the current pandemic, Connor’s professional hockey career has been put on hold, so the Quinnipiac University graduate put pen to paper and will share monthly stories of his prolific journey and lessons learned along the way.

Columnisthockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trail Parks and Rec opens TALC Fitness Centre

Trail Parks and Rec to open Trail Aquatic Centre’s gym on Tuesday, pool to open in mid-September

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Fruitvale

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

Trail Blazers: Looking at the pioneers of leadership

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

MP reflects on Okanagan-Kootenay travels

Richard Cannings is in his second term as MP for the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding

Person steals sound system, Ipad from Rossland restaurant

Mook Thai Lounge staff have had to buy a new sound system at a cost of $700

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Creston Valley Hospital addresses COVID-19 rumours regarding farms

‘Not one seasonal worker in Creston has tested positive for COVID-19,’ said Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Most Read