Hockey Towns: Stories of Small Town Hockey in Canada by Bill Boyd

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8vo. pp. 250. index. bds. dw. [Toronto]: Doubleday Canada Limited, [1998].


At a time when Canada's influence in hockey seems to be slipping, Hockey Towns assures us that the spirit of the game will endure in our communities.

Bill Boyd takes us on a journey across Canada -- from Glace Bay, Nova Scotia to Powell River, British Columbia -- for a look at hockey outside the big cities. Visiting places like Truro, Nova Scotia (where there's a run for the Allan Cup, senior hockey's top prize), Bienfait, Saskatchewan, and Stonewall, Manitoba, Boyd finds the people who care about the game and work to keep it alive. He sits in on junior-league coaching sessions, heated playoff games between rival teams, and the coffee-shop conversations that relive the good old days. Hockey Towns paints a vivid picture of where hockey came from and where it is today, from the enthusiastic kids who practice early Saturday mornings to the former NHL players who keep the spirit alive in their late-night oldtimers' games. What emerges is a heartwarming portrait of our national pastime on a small-town level, where its roots have always been