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Tricky stick work earns Grand Falls-Windsor youth spot in nationals

Grand Falls-Windsor Atom 2 Cataract Ryan Small is preparing his puck tricks to compete in the national final of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Trick Shot Contest in Hamilton, Ontario on April 9 after being chosen as the regional winner at the Grand Falls-Windsor Hometown events this past fall.
Grand Falls-Windsor Atom 2 Cataract Ryan Small is preparing his puck tricks to compete in the national final of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Trick Shot Contest in Hamilton, Ontario on April 9 after being chosen as the regional winner at the Grand Falls-Windsor Hometown events this past fall.

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL-Ryan Small has skill.

At just 10-years-old, he was the youngest participant in the Rogers Hometown Hockey Trick Shot Contest during the Hometown Hockey event in Grand Falls-Windsor in October, but he proved age is just a number.

His mom, Cindy, signed him up for the contest.

“I didn’t even realize it was on the go actually until we went down to the Hometown Hockey and my friend mentioned they were doing it,” she said. “I said he would be good at that.”

He definitely was.

The Grand Falls-Windsor Atom 2 Cataract won the contest, was named the regional winner, and is now preparing to travel to Hamilton to compete nationally for the chance to win an exclusive VIP experience at the Mastercard Memorial Cup.

“I went down to the Hometown Hockey just to look around and I thought the contest was just for a bit of fun so I entered it,” Ryan said, adding he was up against approximately 10 other participants.

Ryan said he did tricks he has been practicing in his garage.

“I flipped it over and put it on my backhand and stuff like that,” he said.

Those tricks won him the regional prize and a trip from April 8-10, including transportation and accommodations for Ryan and his dad, Lindsay.

To make a family vacation, his mom, Cindy, will be paying for her own trip to go with them.

“We had no idea this is what the end result would be,” his dad Lindsay said.

Neither did Ryan.

“I just thought I was getting a hoodie,” he said.

Ryan has been playing hockey whenever he can since the age of four. Lately he has also been practicing some new tricks for the national competition that will take place April 9.

The family will arrive in Hamilton on April 7, and will be taking part in festivities for the participants on Saturday and Sunday, including a chance to meet Toronto Maple Leaf’s alumni Darcy Tucker and Shayne Corsen.

They purchased tickets for the Pittsburgh Penguins-Toronto Maple Leafs game on April 8, as Ryan is a big Sidney Crosby fan.

They will also take in the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs game on Sunday, after Ryan’s competition.

Ryan is unsure how he will do against the other regional winners from every Rogers Hometown Hockey tour stop, but said he will try his best and have fun, which is what matters    

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