The Peewee “AA” Mississauga Terriers have seen plenty of on-ice success. The 2018-19 season saw the Terriers capture the Pro Hockey Life Cup after recording the best regular-season record in their division. With their on-ice performance perfected, the Terriers have taken on a new challenge: have the best season off the ice.
“We wanted to participate in the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup to give back to the community,” explained Head Coach James DeSanto.
The annual nation-wide competition challenges Peewee-aged teams to give back to their community. Past winners have volunteered at homeless shelters, retirement homes, and aided in disaster relief. With thousands of refugees settling in the Toronto area in the past few years, DeSanto and the Terriers were inspired to help bring the joys of hockey into the lives of new Canadians.
“Our players are always outgrowing their equipment and it ends up being tossed in basements and left there for years without a purpose,” explained DeSanto. “We decided why not use that old equipment, why not help these new immigrants and refugees to allow our boys to teach them what they love to do which is skate and play hockey.”
To ensure they have all their basis covered, the Terriers are working to get food donations in order to have food and snacks available after each lesson. The team is currently in the process of organizing and washing donations, and are creating lesson plans for a 6-8 week program. For DeSanto, the whole experience will be about a lot more than just instilling a love for hockey.
“This is an opportunity for our boys to sit and meet and share stories with these young players,” explained DeSanto. “The whole thing is a life lesson in acceptance, compassion and understanding. They’re lessons that will serve our boys in life in the future way more than the skating lessons they are teaching.”
The top 10 teams for the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup will be selected in the coming months before being narrowed down throughout the season.