New Maryland — The Cormier family’s backyard hockey rink has been the pride of the Applewood Acres subdivision all winter, with neighbours, relatives and friends lining the plywood boards.
One face missing from the crowd is the uncoordinated Trevor Cormier, 10, who feels nothing but disdain for the patriotic tradition. The Manatee joined him at his windowsill as he studied his father flooding the ice surface.
“The scariest time of year is when my father starts pulling the equipment out of the basement for me to try on, to make sure everything fits,” explained Cormier. “Maybe this would be the right time to say I hate hockey…if he smacks me I won’t even feel it with all that gear on.
“I’m the only kid not playing competitive — my dad coaches everyone,” he continued, as he pressed his forehead against the glass. “I’ve already spent most of my life in crummy arenas with my brothers and sister.”
Despite being born into a local hockey dynasty, Cormier is known for skating on his ankles.
“I’m the worst player on my rec team, and all of my teammates hate me,” said Cormier, pointing at the rink. “I still need to use that little plastic chair when I skate.”
Victor Cormier, 54, led the FHS Black Kats AAA team to six consecutive high school championships in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
“This Christmas he even gave me a Bass Pro Shops hat,” said Cormier, gazing at his father chiselling the ice.
The holidays are a perfect storm for Cormier, as his entire extended jock family are in town to watch the IIHF World Junior Hockey Tournament.
“Some of my cousins from Ontario are being considered by the training camps for next year’s tournament,” lamented Cormier. “None of my siblings have been invited. Dad says it’s a ‘product of provincial politics.’ Whatever that means.”
Cormier said that when Dobson, the only Maritimer on the team, snapped his stick, his father had to leave the room. He eventually reappeared, grabbed both of his son’s shoulders while screaming at him not to worry — Crosby is from Cole Harbour.
Unfortunately for the young man, his complaints ricochet off the rest of his family.
“My big brother makes me wear #15, the same sweater he wore when he played at this level. What a stupid tradition! There have to be at least a thousand other families who love the same pointless number.”
Cormier’s situation is only growing more dire, as his father has begun looking for outside help; the elder Cormier’s internet search history is full of Finnish prep school websites, specifically ones that members of the Junior National team attended.
“At least Mom says that forcing a 10-year-old to a foreign country might screw me up.”
Despite the tension within the Cormier family, this year’s rink has only received rave reviews.
“They have the fake boards and the painted lines and the official NHL nets and everything!” shouted neighbour Denver Allwood, 8. “I wish my dad loved me that much!”