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Crosby Hockey School thrill of a lifetime for Jr. Coyotes’ Bussiere

 

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There are numerous hockey camps and schools over the summer that help improve young players’ skill sets and show them what it takes to keep playing the game.

But it can’t hurt to go to a camp put on by arguably the best player in the NHL today, that being three-time Stanley Cup champion and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

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Matthew Bussiere is just 11 and is going into his third season playing for the Jr. Coyotes program. He and his family had heard about the Sidney Crosby Hockey School earlier this year from some friends back home in Canada whose son attended in 2016.

IMG_1847There was a catch, though.

As part of the application process, Bussiere had to write a short essay on why he wanted to attend the camp this summer. In May, the family received word that he had been chosen from a pool of more than 10,000 applicants.

“I was very excited and happy when I was accepted to the camp,” said Bussiere. “I knew there were a lot of applicants, so it was amazing that I was selected. It was also cool knowing that we would get a chance to visit Nova Scotia and meet one of my hockey heroes.”

The Bussiere family moved to Phoenix in 2008 from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, when Matthew was two years old, and he started playing hockey at the age of six. Hockey camps have been a part of the summer routine the past couple of years.

The camp took place in Crosby’s hometown of Cole Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada, from July 10-14. There were 160 participants with representation from all Canadian provinces and territories and 30 U.S. states. There were also several international attendees from Hong Kong, Israel and Great Britain. The camp is open to kids 9-12 years old, with all proceeds going to the Sidney Crosby Foundation, which provides financial assistance to disadvantaged children. The camp was staffed by approximately 200 volunteers that all have ties back to Crosby and included friends, family and former coaches that were part of his formative years growing up in Nova Scotia.

Each day included two on-ice sessions, dry land training, swimming, video and question-and-answer sessions. Crosby was at the camp each day and participated in as many of the on-ice sessions as possible.

Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon, who is also from Nova Scotia and trains with Crosby in the offseason, also participated for a couple of the days as well.

“It was really amazing to meet Sid,” Bussiere said. “It was cool when I was skating laps in warmups the first day and I turned around and he was on the ice with us. He was really nice and asked me several questions. The most fun was when we played 3-on-3 on the last day of camp and he was on my line. I actually got a pass from him and scored a goal.

“At the camp, we worked a lot on passing and skating to help develop our overall game. Sid actually taught me the best way to tip a puck in front of the net. We also had the chance to work with Sidney’s dry land coach from the Penguins and they taught us the importance of good nutrition. I will use their advice this season.”

When asked about his future, on and off the ice, Bussiere’s answers came across as those that would come from someone a few years older.

“My short-term goals are this season, I want to be the hardest worker on my team and in school, to get all ‘As,’” said Bussiere. “I also want to have fun playing hockey. My long-term goals are to get a scholarship to a good college and to play in the NHL.

“In life, I want to do something I really love for work, like playing hockey.”

— Matt Mackinder

(Sept. 27, 2017)