Triumph and Heartbreak for Bantam BB, News (Cambridge roadrunners Girls' Hockey Association)

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17-18 Travel - Bantam BB - Triumph and Heartbreak for Bantam BB
Submitted By roadrunners Hockey on Monday, April 09, 2018
The Cambridge roadrunners Bantam BB participated in the Provincial tournament this past weekend and came away with a silver medal. But the real story involved what the girls had to overcome just to play their final 3 games.

Henri DeMars, father of #44 Ashely DeMars had been battling cancer for many years. Henri managed the strength to make it to the first game of the Provincial tournament but then had to return home to rest.

The team would play their third game of the tournament on Saturday morning and finish with a 2-1 record, good enough for first place in their pool and enough to secure a Quarter-final game that evening.

Sadly, on Saturday morning Henri was taken to ICU in Cambridge and the family including Ashley was summoned to be by his side that afternoon.

With several of Ashley’s teammates aware of the situation but others not knowing anything, the decision was made that the coaches would address the entire team an hour before we played our Quarter final game.

The girls were informed that Ashley was with her family and that Henri needed a miracle. We taped our sticks with the initials of all the DeMars family and we would play this game for the DeMars family. We made the decision that we would have a team prayer on ice immediately after our Quarter final warm-up.

However approximately 15 minutes before we stepped on the ice, the parents and coaches received the news that Henri DeMars had passed.

Knowing the DeMars family would not want any such news to distract from the game, the girls played their Quarter-final still hoping for a miracle for Henri.

The score was tied 0-0 after regulation and 0-0 after the first OT. Cambridge scored in the second OT. The goal was assisted by Henri DeMars, the DeMars family, and the incredible support we received by all the Cambridge fans in attendance.

The emotion in the dressing room was unreal after the game…..not like anything I had ever experienced. But it had been decided once we received news of Henri’s passing that the coaching staff would tell the girls after the game. The girls were told that we would leave the dressing room together but once they were ready the coaches had a couple of final words for them.

With the parents waiting in the lobby, the girls were informed of the tragic news and they immediately left to an embrace from their parents. What had been such a joyous moment only 20 minutes earlier had turned into heartbreak for these young women.  And to make the situation even more challenging for these players, they would somehow need to find the strength to play two more games the next day.

Incredibly we found this strength due to the return of Ashley DeMars for both our semi-final game and our gold medal game!

We won our semi-final game in thrilling fashion.

We lost our gold medal game in another thriller.

But the outcome didn’t matter. The resiliency and strength of the human spirit was on full display this weekend and the situation that the girls were able to overcome was surreal.

Thank-you to all the parents, relatives, friends and hockey community for all of your support this weekend.

Rest in peace Henri Jerome DeMars. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Cambridge roadrunners

Bantam BB

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