O'LEARY - Even after compelling their opponents to play an entire period with novice-age hockey sticks Team RCMP couldn't catch Team Cooke in the Kameron Cooke Memorial Hockey Game Saturday at the O'Leary Community Sports Centre.
The score really didn't matter, though, as the game was all about remembering an enthusiastic six-year-old who died suddenly on Jan. 13 of a complication similar to a brain aneurysm.
"If he were here tonight he would be so excited to get to see everyone and watch his family play hockey and beat the RCMP team," Kameron's mom, Brittanie, said in a moving speech to the near-capacity crowd just prior to the start of the game.
She and her husband Kyle, a member of Team Cooke, were at centre ice for the presentation of their son's hockey jersey in a shadow box display. The two O'Leary novice hockey teams joined them on the ice for a ceremony to officially retire their teammate's jersey.
"Even though Kameron is not here physically he's watching over everyone tonight and would never believe everyone is here all because of him. He would be so proud and happy of everyone.
"He's definitely looking down on everyone and cheering not only for the Cooke team, but I know he's cheering for the RCMP team, as well," Brittanie remarked.
She chuckled that, even though it was a friendship game, she knew her son would have been chanting, "fight, fight, fight" with his fingers thrown in the air in his trademark victory pose.
The game raised more than $28,000, including $5,620 on a lottery for a Sidney Crosby hockey jersey. Crosby was Kameron's favourite player.
There was also a Sidney Crosby jersey among the 17 team jerseys available for the silent auction. Dozens of other items were also available in the auction, which raised $13,707. Bids were accepted throughout the day.
"Kameron loved hockey more than almost anything. For those of you who knew him, he could be found hanging around the rink for his father's games, his games, or any other hockey game happening in O'Leary," Brittanie told the crowd as she stood at one side of the shadow box, her husband, dressed in his hockey equipment and ready to play, standing at the other side.
"This is crazy, the amount of people who are here, all for Kameron," she said in thanking everyone for their support. "It shows how many lives he's touched just by seeing his smile or by knowing him personally."