The Quesnel Kangaroos stand on the blue line during the anthem of their home opener. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The Quesnel Kangaroos stand on the blue line during the anthem of their home opener. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

COLUMN: Roos game provides splash of hope

Cassidy Dankochik is the editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

On February 29, 2020, I was sitting in the stands watching the Flin Flon Bombers finish their regular season strong, and prepare for a playoff push.

I was excited to cover the team as it began a long and fruitful journey deep into the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoffs.

It would be 602 days until I stepped foot in an arena to cover a hockey game again, when I sat down at the West Fraser Centre to watch the Roos take on the Nechako North Stars in Central Interior Hockey League action.

I’ve never gone a season without writing about a hockey game since 2013, when I began my journey into journalism with my first ever stories chronicling the Gimli Wolves playing in the Manitoba Senior Hockey League as a freelancer.

I was still working at a coffee shop at the time, and with a closing time of 8 p.m., and a game start time of 8 p.m., that left me just enough time to run out the door and make it to the rec centre without missing much of the action.

Two hours later, I would return to the coffee shop, and finish off my closing duties for the night.

Covering hockey games was my journalistic education, my job opportunity, my reason I even got started doing this crazy job.

READ MORE: Quesnel Kangroos defeat Nechako North Stars in home opener, player leaves arena on stretcher

While I no longer desire to be a sports beat reporter, covering hockey games was a warm, comforting blanket for me.

When I walked into the West Fraser Centre to write about actual, real-life hockey game, I was giddy, I was emotional, and I was pumped up.

The simple joys of watching and covering a game were lost in those stressful 604 days, and over 1,800 km move.

While I never want to go that long without again, it’s certainly made me count my blessings for being able to do the job I do.

Cassidy Dankochik is the Editor of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


@GimliJetsMan
cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com

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