By Ben Gislason,
Even though the Concordia Men’s Hockey team could not pull out a victory against the Hamline Pipers on January 31st 2015, it did not stop eleven kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs of the White Earth Reservation from having a night they would never forget.
The Boys & Girls Club of the White Earth Reservation located in Northwestern Minnesota currently serves over 1,100 youth between seven communities within the reservation. The mission of the club is to “inspire and enable all youth, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
A part of the InSports Foundation’s “Play-it-Forward” initiative, young hockey fans from the Boys & Girls Club got to take in a MIAC regular season hockey game on January 30th, complete with a meet and greet with the Cobber team after the game.
After a tough loss, the Cobbers were hanging their heads in the locker room post-game. However, it didn’t take long for the players to cheer up after seeing the smiling faces of their eager fans from the White Earth Reservation.
The Cobbers were greeted by high fives and all kinds of questions from the kids outside the locker room.
One of the kids took a particular liking to the Cobber goaltender’s Jordyn Kaufer and Alex Reichle. The boy was an aspiring goaltender himself, and had plenty of questions about the position. While Reichle was sharing his goaltending style, Kaufer snuck away into the locker room to bring out a broken goalie stick.
As Kaufer signed and handed over the broken shaft, the boy’s face was priceless.
“When I brought out the broken stick, the young kid’s eyes lit up. He was a little shy, but I could tell that he was more than excited,” Kaufer said. “That’s one of the best feelings as a player, being able to make a kid’s day with things that we might take for granted, like free sticks.”
After signing some more autographs for the kids, the group got together for a picture with the team, which sealed-off a great evening for the White Earth reservation kids and the Cobbers as well.
InSports Founder, Max Smith thought the event was special for both the kids and for the men’s hockey team.
“It was great to see the excitement and smiles on the kids’ faces during what for many of them was their first hockey game,” Smith Said. “They were so happy getting autographs from the Cobbers, it was like we were an NHL team. It just shows how much kids look up to older players, no matter what level it is at.”
Stayed tuned for more ways athletes at Concordia are Playing-It-Forward in the Fargo-Moorhead Community.