"It's the best game we played all season" describes how tragedy turned into community as hockey players reflected on how the shooting at Parkland affected them. TSN called us up to Canada for a very special piece honoring the Parkland High School shooting victims through their honorable hockey team.
17 Players Winning for 17 Victims
On February 14th, 2018, life for the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida changed forever. Parkland was nestled in the state’s safest city, but on that day, a former student opened fire on school grounds, killing 17 Parkland students in one of the deadliest mass shootings ever. MSD’s varsity hockey team, who were destined for the state championship, debated not even playing after the tragedy. The Monday after the incident, parents and children gathered to decide and in the end the athletes decided to carry on and play to honor the victims.
One of the players described it as “the best game we played all season”, and the finals proved to be the same. Marjory Stoneman Douglas walked out with the state championship title in an untouchable game. They felt the victims had watched over their game and knew there were 17 additional players on their team that day giving them the advantage.
An Emotional Ending
As the team celebrated on the ice, one of the players noticed they had 17 students on their team. One for each victim of the shooting. As soon as they got home, each player placed their championship medals on a memorial of the 17 victims. It felt more than coincidental and the players knew it was the best thing they could offer. Head coach Eric Laforce said “I’m not usually an emotional person, but that was something to be had. [I’m] proud of them. Very proud.”
A student on the team said it best. “That tournament wasn’t for us. It was all for them. That’s what we had to play for. For our school, for our community, for the victims, for their families, for everyone.” In the face of tragedy, Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ hockey team honored their fallen students in the best way they knew how.
The Sports Network knows how to tell a story. And it’s so important to tell stories like this one. Thanks for including us and our crew.
Watch the full piece HERE.
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