LOWER SACKVILLE: It was an night that Lockview Dragons boy’s hockey head coach Tom Myketyn—or his players—won’t soon forget.
The Dragons, with permission from the NSSAF and the school, donned their traditional Lockview hockey colours and suited up against Sir John A MacDonald Flames before a mostly pro-Lockview crowd on Feb. 14, at the Sackville Arena.It was a Hockey Nova Scotia Midget X League game.
As the national anthem was sung by regular Halifax Mooseheads announcer Peter Baylis, the Dragons locked arms in solidarity for their beloved coach.
On each road trip the Dragons would take, Myketyn traditionally hits play on the movie surrounding the real-life events that made Coach Ken Carter garner headlines.The movie, aptly titled Coach Carter, focused on events that happened while Carter was coaching his former high school basketball team, Richmond High, in 1999. The California-based school team had an unblemished record until he benched the team because players were doing poorly academically. The benching was lifted once all 45 players had grades which met expectations of the academic contract each player had signed before the season began. It made headlines from coast-to-coast.
Myketyn has much the same coaching philosophy as that of Carter. So when word came that Carter was going to be in Halifax for a couple of speaking engagements, one parent from Lockview High made a few calls to tell them about the similarities between the two and the recent diagnosis.
It was shortly after hearing the story that Carter agreed without hesitation to attend, meet, and unbeknownst to Myketyn, present a banner recognizing his Excellence in hockey for the past nine years as head coach of the Dragons hockey program.
No words had to be said. The atmosphere from the crowd, and the players—they knew what this game meant. Lockview came out firing in the first period, looking like they were inspired—Coach Carter did speak to them before they took to the ice.
The Dragons led 2-0 after the first, before going back on their heels and being tied 2-2 after two periods. They led 19-13 in shots on goal. In the third Lockview managed to outscore their opposition 3-1 to earn a well-deserved and meaningful 5-3 victory.
Regan McDonald scored twice, while single helpers were credited to Oliver Phillips, Jack Meek, and Ryan O’Hearn.
The game raised close to $3,000—including the 50/50 which the winner donated back—that will be put towards an annual scholarship in Myketyn’s name and given to a Lockview hockey player that is graduating.
It was a night that many will remember for years to come, and a night that the community came together in unity for a great hockey coach and his family.
Keep an eye on our photo gallery for more photos from the ceremony and game action as well.