A trip to Montreal to meet hometown hero Carey Price is one a Williams Lake youth will remember for the rest of her life.
Bursting with excitement, Marie Sharpe elementary student Sireasha Alphonse returned to school last week eager to share tales of exploring the big city and having the chance to take in her very first NHL game, and even fly on her first airplane.
The journey was an all-expense paid trip for Sireasha, 10, her grandma, Brenda Cahoose, and two other students, including Lashawn Jack from Anahim Lake in Price’s hometown, after their letters were chosen as the winners of the annual Shooting for the Stars contest put on by the Breakfast Club of Canada and Air Canada.
Sireasha and Cahoose arrived in Montreal on Feb. 4, staying until Feb. 8, taking in plenty of sights and visiting landmarks in Montreal. Visiting with the star NHL goaltender and watching the Montreal Canadiens defeat the Winnipeg Jets, 5-2, on Feb. 7 was the icing on the cake.
“It was just awesome,” Sireasha said. “It was way better than I even thought.”
The group had the chance to attend the Canadiens practice facility, strap on some skates and take some shots on Price in goal.
“I actually slap shotted him and it went in!” she said. “And then I slipped and fell, which was funny.”
Later, at the game while being treated to box seats alongside Price’s wife, Angela, and BCC and Air Canada representatives, Sireasha said she couldn’t believe how loud it was inside the Bell Centre, especially after Montreal scored its first goal of the night.
“Angela brought the baby, Millie and we got to meet her, and then we got to go downstairs and Carey signed a few autographs and talked to us, and we got to meet Max Domi and his dad, Tie Domi, and (Canadiens defenceman) Shea Weber,” Sireasha said.
“Then I asked Carey how he got in the NHL and he told me to always try my hardest and do my best at everything I do.”
When Sireasha and Cahoose arrived in Montreal at their hotel for the start of the trip, a package put together by Price filled with goodies was waiting at their hotel room.
The next morning the group travelled to Montreal City Hall where they met the mayor, Valérie Plante, and visited the Notre-Dame Basilica, before getting a bird’s-eye view of the city on the Montreal Observation Wheel.
On day two, aside from attending the Canadiens practice facility, the group made a stop at the BCC head office, tasted some of the cuisine the city had to offer, and did some shopping.
“We got to see the whole city,” Sireasha said. “And did lots of shopping.”
Cahoose, meanwhile, was so happy to tag alongside her granddaughter for the trip. Seeing the smiles on her face was the highlight.
“The whole trip was awesome because they centered everything around the children and made it about them,” Cahoose said.
“I just wanted to make it special for Sireasha and something she’ll always remember, and it was an honour being there for her.”
Cahoose said Sireasha was extremely grateful to have the chance to go on the trip.
“She’s special in a lot of ways and I’m glad BCC, AC and everybody made it special and something she’ll always remember.”