NHL Alumni players Dave Babych and Garry Valk with Kinnon Duncan at the NHL Skills Camp at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Sunday.

NHL Alumni players Dave Babych and Garry Valk with Kinnon Duncan at the NHL Skills Camp at Rogers Arena in Vancouver on Sunday.

Vanderhoof hockey atom learns from the best

A local minor hockey player headed down to Vancouver on Sunday after winning a spot on a NHL skills hockey camp held at the Rogers Arena.

A local minor hockey player headed down to Vancouver on Sunday after winning a spot on a NHL skills hockey camp held at the Rogers Arena.

When grade four W.L. McLeod student, Kinnon Duncan told his mom Molina about his aspirations about being a hockey goalie – she knew she had to do something about it.

Although Kinnon plays Vanderhoof minor hockey, he has never had the opportunity to be a goalie as the equiptment is so expensive.

“ He has a bad stigma in one eye so he can’t really see and I think that’s really holding him back in his hockey…he’s more of a goalie,” said Molina.

“He told me he dreams about it when he’s sleeping,” she said.

“So my brother told me about the Canadian Tire Hockey Foundation.”

“They have a hockey school and you can sign up as a parent and you can sign up your kids so I did that for Kinnon,” she said.

Every once in a while the foundation holds contests which are only open to members, so Molina entered Kinnon.

“I never win anything!”, said Molina.

“First we got an email from someone saying that Kinnon is a potential winner and then soon after we got another one saying congratulations Kinnon has won a spot on the NHL skills camp,” she said.

The one day camp is part of a series of camps held across the country, which features first class information tips and training from experts in the NHL.

“He was really excited when I told him …he just couldn’t believe it,” said Molina.

“But I don’t think he’ll realize until he gets there and meets all these hockey players and coaches how much of a big deal it is,” she said.

“I told him if he wants to go to this it means you have to miss your home tournament because the atoms are playing at home this weekend – he said he’d rather go to Vancouver,” she added.

After an arrival and welcome the kids had an ice session in the morning, where they did drills before doing some off-ice team building exercises. After lunch they did another fun and games ice session before having team pictures taken. Kids who took part got the opportunity to have pictures taken with NHL alumni and to get their jerseys signed.

Molina, her husband and Kinnon, all traveled down to Vancouver together for the weekend to attend the camp.

“For Kinnon I think it’s a once in a life time experience for him and I just want to show him that things do happen and dreams do come true,” said Molina.