Two Chisasibi boys worked hard on their on-ice talents during the Montreal Canadiens hockey school in Brossard recently. Darius Neacappo, the son of Patricia Neacappo and Jean-Louis Pelchat, and Gerald House, son of Sally and Jerry House, sweated through a demanding program to make their parents proud.

The two boys justified the long drive so that they could practice with and learn from a number of former Canadiens’ greats at the team’s new state-of-the-art practice facility.

The first day was really exciting. They received jerseys with the name of the hockey school as well with the Montreal Canadiens logo at registration time. Former Habs sniper Stephane Richer gave them their first autograph. Among other players they met were Lars Eller, a new player for the Canadiens.

The second day they met head coach Jacques Martin and assistant coach Kirk Muller. They practiced a lot of skilled techniques on the ice and by the end of the week they had improved a lot. They spent practically the whole day at the arena from 8 am to 4:30 pm, along with some dry-land training outside.

The third day was the best day of all because they had quite a surprise while they had lunch an instructor said, “Kids, I have a surprise for you.” Out came all-star defenceman Andrei Markov. Darius was really surprised to meet another of his favourite players, top scorer Mike Cammelleri. He couldn’t stop talking about that all day once they had finished. He couldn’t wait to call everyone back home to tell them that he met Markov and they got his autograph.

The last day they received their certificates for their hard work at the camp. The day included a visit to the locker room of the Montreal Canadiens. The player who gave them the certificates was Mathieu Darche.

The two boys from Chisasibi had a great summer spending it at a hockey school with the Montreal Canadiens. “One day I will play in the NHL and be drafted into the Montreal Canadiens,” said a confident Darius. They received many gifts, including a jersey, t-shirt, cap, towels and more, all with the Montreal Canadiens logo. Youppi, the mischievous mascot, was there to entertain the kids as well as the spectators.

The second week I had the chance of meeting Clara Bosum from Ouje-Bougoumou. Clara is a single mother of seven children, two of whom attended the hockey school. Her sons Jimmy Shecapio-Blacksmith Bosum, 10, and Ritchie Bosum, 9, adored being there and meeting the players.

The two daughters of Priscilla Bosum also attended this hockey school with huge enthusiasm. Not many Native girls attend this hockey school, but 11-year-old Glenda and 8-year-old Ashley Bosum both from Ouje-Bougoumou did. Their little brother Robbie, only 5, wanted to attend so much this year that they decided to give him a chance even though it is usually from age 7 that they accept participants. But after two hours, as he put it, “I got kicked out from there.” His mother has stated that next year he will attend. I sure hope he will last the full week this time.

Since women are taking over politics and other things they might as well join the NHL.

Good luck to all the participants in the future. Maybe one day we will see these young children play for the NHL. For more information on attending this hockey school visit the Montreal Canadiens website.