We recently reached out to all of you and asked why you deserve a brand new hockey stick for the upcoming season. We wanted to select our favourite entry and reward them with a Baron Hockey stick to hopefully take their game to the next level this year.

The response was overwhelming as we got a ton of great entries!

In the end, we selected Crystal DeMontigny as our winner, with the following entry:

I don’t usually enter these contests but for some reason I felt like this might be the best way to honour my mom.  I’ve been playing hockey since I was 3 years old. I’m now 47. I’m kind of old school when it comes to sticks and equipment. I don’t like spending a lot of money on myself because I have a son who’s been a goalie in AAA hockey since he was young. He’s required new equipment almost every year. Not cheap. So Mom gets what is left. Usually there is no budget which is okay. I am no superstar.  I’m just happy to play once a week. Anyway my biggest fan was my mom. She always made sure I played hockey growing up. She even took her first drive on the QEW highway when I was 12 to get me to my Brampton tournament. She was scared to death. And frankly so was I. We made it safely but it took us a couple hours to get there. This was one of many sacrifices she made for my sports growing up. That’s what we parents do for our kids.  Well one birthday 4 years ago she bought me a very expensive hockey stick which I was very proud of. I never spent or splurged like that on my equipment. I play ladies rec now so having the latest stick isn’t a necessity to me. My mom passed away that same year suddenly and I cherish that stick. It’s now cracked and I can’t use it anymore. I went and bought the same stick to replace it because it’s now a lower model with the latest greatest sticks now taking its place. It’s not the same. As you can imagine.

I saw your ad on my email and thought a custom stick? Hey why not. I could actually put something on it that would remind me of my mom in a very tasteful way. Instead of my name I’d put my mom’s name. As everyone knows her as NANA. 

A fantastic story and very well deserving. Check out more of our favourite entries below!

Michelle Ferderbar

This year will be my first year playing hockey and the last thing I need in terms of gear is my stick. Today I got my helmet and a nice rolling hockey bag, and I’m ready to play. I’m so eager! I’m 23 years old and it’ll be my first year getting on the ice to play in an organized league. I think I deserve my stick because of my dedication to getting here and I’d like to tell you my little hockey story. 

When I was 10 years old, my parents registered me in CanSkate. We went to National Sports and the salesperson and after a discussion of the fact it was for learning to skate, I got laced into my first pair of hockey skates. I went to my lessons in them, but at some point after progressing through the levels fairly quickly, I was forced to get figure skates as there was a need for the toe pick. However, any time I went to public skate, I wore my hockey skates. When I was 11 years old, I asked my parents if I could play hockey after being inspired by some shinny. It was shot down, but then I figured I’d ask again. When I was 12, I started bugging my parents again and they asked some parents on my soccer team what their thoughts were. A few of the girls also played hockey and were able to get the gear at a reasonable price second-hand. With this reassurance, they said it would be alright for me to play! I went to school and told all my friends. I was elated. 

Time to register came around and I reminded my parents. Unfortunately, they had a change of heart. They were concerned about me getting “beat up” or having teeth knocked out, and at some point stated it isn’t a nice sport for a girl to play. Despite the fact it was a girls’ league with no hitting (soccer was rough and we do not wear padding), I had no choice but to continue figure skating. I’d take whatever I could get to be on the ice. I quit when I was 15 as my other sports were taking precedence. It was somewhere during this time I read about a woman starting hockey at 26 years of age. I set that as my goal: play hockey in a league before 26. 

When I got to university, I joined intramural floorball at the school in my second year - I was pretty sad I never heard about it in my first year!! I loved the game. Someone told me about a women’s league in Hamilton that plays on Sundays and I said hopefully once I get my own car I’ll join! In my third and fourth years of university, I became the Sport Supervisor for floorball at McMaster, where my role included hiring and training officials for the sport. Playing was fun, but running isn’t close to being on the ice. I graduated undergrad, bought a car for myself, and returned to Hamilton for my Master’s degree, this time with a car!!! However, I still had a job back in Windsor (my hometown) so I was driving back and forth most weekends. It wasn’t practical to join. However, this year, at last, after just over 10 years of waiting, I’m registered with the Hamilton Women’s Hockey League and I am overjoyed. My childhood dreams are finally happening and I am more excited than ever. I just need one more thing: a stick. 

In short, I deserve a new stick because I have persevered and never gave up on my dream to play Canada’s game. This stick would be severely appreciated and it would definitely encourage me to raise my game.

Wayne McCaw

My name is Wayne and I am responding to the online contest on the CARHA website. I was fortunate to be a member of the Eaton Blackhawks that won the CARHA World Cup in 2016. Windsor recently experienced a major environmental incident, resulting in thousands of homes being flooded, including mine. I was fortunate that my flooding was only rainwater not sewer water, however, my insurance only covers sewer damage. Sadly my hockey equipment was in the basement and my insurance will not cover the cost to replace it, therefore I am writing this letter and hoping for a positive result during my difficult time.

Jim

Well I have never owned a really good stick. The guys all say that nothing would improve my shot anyway so why bother. I would really like to prove them wrong and would love to be able to report that a Baron stick made the difference!

George Stephenson

I need a new stick because I haven’t scored a goal in four years and it must be my stick’s fault.

Verdon Vaillancourt

I deserve a new stick for the upcoming season because I’m not allowed to buy a new stick until I break this old piece of crap that I have now, and it just won’t break! It’s not scoring me any goals, but it’s tough as nails. If I don’t start scoring a few soon, I’m going to get moved to the checking line, and as a 57 year-old, 140lb, cancer survivor - I really don’t want to be on the checking line!

Dawn Haussler

Last year was my first full season of playing out in our Kitchener-Waterloo Women's Recreational Hockey League (KWWRHL). Before that, I had played goal for almost 20 years. I was diagnosed with mild arthritis in my knees at the end of the 2015-16 season. I have loved the game since I was a young child so the chance that I couldn't play anymore was terrible to think of. And so at the age of 50, I decided to try playing out. I attended some hockey clinics with my husband the past 2 summers and am looking forward to the start of our new season in a few weeks.

Last season I played every position, including subbing in goal for a few games. I still love to play goal, but realize that I can't do it full time. Our league is in great need of new goalies. My husband helps coach my team. It was a frustrating year for me as goaltending comes naturally to me since I was a small child playing in the driveway. Often when I play out, I feel like I am in the wrong place and aimlessly skating around. I know I need to get into better shape being in my 50s so I can keep up to the youngsters. I love the comradery on the bench which I missed as a goalie. I also like to support my goalie as I know first-hand what it feels like to be in that position.

I think I had a few assists last year, but I would love to score my first goal. Please consider me to win a free stick from Baron Hockey so that I can realize that dream!

Kelsey McEachern

I would absolutely love to win a stick! I've been playing hockey for almost 20 years and I play in a men's league here in New Brunswick. One of my proudest moments was starting a petition to stop Hockey New Brunswick from cutting co-ed minor hockey. I even got a response from the great Hayley Wickenheiser and interviews by local and CBC News. The end result was what I hoped for and co-ed hockey is here to stay!

Valerie Drummond

I would love a custom stick! I started playing hockey at the age of 40 and now 30 years later still play in our female division here in small town Haines Junction, Yukon! I organize a Yukon wide female hockey jamboree each year for girls and women 13 years old and up. My goal is to keep playing until I can play in this Jamboree with my 3 granddaughters. The oldest is 10 but the youngest is only turning 7 so I have a few years yet to go! I hope I can accomplish this goal. I have rarely had any new equipment, using hand me down gear from my boys when they were teenagers and eyeing the skates of PeeWee players each year when they hit the ice! I love playing hockey and can hardly wait each fall for our season to begin!