Cassius Billy and Chrissie Squinas both say that watching the Montreal Canadiens play the Calgary Flames with Carey Price in goal from the sky box at the Bell Centre was the highlight of their trip to Montreal last week.
Cassius, a Grade 6 student at Marie Sharpe Elementary and Chrissie, a Grade 6 student at Anahim Lake Elementary/Junior Secondary School, were both chosen by the Breakfast Club of Canada from School District 27 to make the trip to Montreal along with their chaperones.
A little shy in her telephone interview Tuesday morning Chrissie confirmed the game was her favourite part of the trip, but the whole trip was “good.”
“It was awesome,” said Cassius. “We were up in the sky box. It was really fun.”
After the game he said they went down to congratulate Carey on their 5-1 win.
“I told him good job,” Cassius said.
He said their group met Carey and his wife Angela the day before the game in the Montreal Canadiens training arena.
“Mrs. Price gave us all skates to keep,” Cassius said. Then they all went out and tried out their skates in the arena.
“I only fell down once,” said Cassius who is learning to skate with his classmates at the arena in Williams Lake every second Friday.
“The best part of the trip was meeting Carey Price.”
He said he asked Carey how long he had been playing in the NHL and learned that it was nine years.
“I was kind of shy,” Cassius said, but was happy to receive encouraging comments from Carey.
“I learned that it is OK to be yourself out there and have fun skating,” Cassius said. “He told me to get a good education and try your best and if you don’t succeed it’s OK, just try your best.”
In addition to their skates, Cassius said the students came home with a miniature goalie stick and jersey signed by Carey, plus two hats, a puck, headphones and a wallet. He is keeping his jersey safely in a black box.
“My dad says it will be very, very valuable one day,” Cassius said.
He said their guides in Montreal were Martine Jabert, the Breakfast Club of Canada events co-ordinator, and Micheline Villeneuve of the Air Canada Foundation which provided their flights to and from Montreal.
They visited the Breakfast Club of Canada head office, toured around old Montreal, visited an underground mall, and met Montreal’s mayor at city hall, Cassius said.
They also ate at Montreal’s premiere poutine restaurant where he ordered the rib dinner. “It was really good,” Cassius says. “The ribs were 10 ounces and I managed to eat it all.”
Speaking through her principal Dylan Walsh, Chrissie said she liked the poutine at Donna’s Restaurant in Anahim Lake better than the poutine she ate in Montreal. Walsh said he heard the same comment from the three other students who made the trip to see Carey in Montreal in past years.
Cassius said the group stayed on the 36th floor of their hotel and were treated to breakfast in the VIP lounge.
“My experience was really awesome,” Cassius said. “The people in Montreal were so nice to us.”
On the way home he said they were able to visit Science World in Vancouver.