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Staff-student hockey game one of final ice uses in County due to COVID-19 concerns

Photos and story by Thomas Goyer
In one of the final uses of the ice surface at Picton arena due to COVID-19 precautions, high school students made history leaving the annual staff-student hockey game victorious after a 7 to 6 win in a shootout.

Students and fans from the community saw a goal-filled fun game on Thursday. Friday, the municipality cancelled all on-ice related activities in Picton and Wellington and is removing the ice in both facilities, following Hockey Canada’s decision to cancel the season.

Laurie Spencer, athletic director at PECI and staff supervisor for the school athletic council, says the event brings the school together.

“Prince Edward County is a fantastic hockey community, and this is one of the few events that we can bring everyone together because of the size of the arena so it’s a lot of fun for everyone.”

Kayce Mcfarland is on the PECI athletic council and played in the game for the student’s team. He says that he has been waiting for a chance to play.

“Ever since I was in Grade 9 I was looking forward to playing in it,” he said.

As an organizer, Mcfarland says the event is an opportunity for the school to show how connected it is.

“It’s a great way to get everyone in the community involved, and a great way for people to see what the school is really about,” he said.

Mcfarland was thankful for his chance to be a part of the game.

“I’m glad to be given this opportunity by the school, and I want to say thank you to the teachers and fellow students who helped put this together and to the community for its support,” he said.

Brennan Vincent, another student organizer, says the game has many benefits for students.

“It’s a great thing for students because they get to have fun watching the game and they get to miss class so it’s really a win-win.”

The teacher team was comprised of school faculty, and built up with members of the Prince Edward OPP and alumni. The student team was a mix of Grade 12 students from the school.

During the second period intermission, Grade 9 students went on the ice to perform a skills test competition.

Fans mingling with students in the stands included parents, friends and community members.

Terri Martin, who has three children who attend PECI, said she believes the game is about more than just a hockey and is an example of how involved the teachers are with students.

“When I went to school, teachers weren’t really involved and I think it’s great that the teachers here make an effort through things like this game,” she said.

Martin hopes more events like this can happen to add to an already developed sense of community at the school.

McCauley Cole and his mother Teresa were there to watch his sister Bella play, one of the few women in the game.

“We loved it,” he said.

Cole is many years away from high school but says that he hopes to play in the game when he’s older.

Teresa Cole says the game is important not just because of the community that it helps to grow, but also the fun that students have both playing and watching.

“They go to school for so long, going out and having an event like this is fun, and they need that,” Teresa said.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesPECI - It's a Panther ThingSports & Recreation

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