While hockey fans across the country are jumping on the Montreal Canadiens bandwagon, a remote town in B.C. has a head start.
The Ulkatcho First Nation at Anahim Lake, a 12-hour drive north of Vancouver, held a rally yesterday to support Canadiens goalie Carey Price, their hometown hero who has remained close to the community as he blossomed into an NHL star.
“We hope he wins tonight, and we hope he brings the Stanley Cup home this summer,” said Liz Hennigar, a receptionist at the Ulkatcho office, hours before the puck dropped on Game 7 between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins.
Price was born in Vancouver, but when he was three his mother, a former Ulkatcho chief, decided to move the family back to her hometown.
To play hockey growing up, Price’s dad would drive – and later fly – his son to Williams Lake, over 300 kilometres away. While he moved to Washington State to place junior hockey as a teenager, he still comes back to Anahim Lake every summer.
The rally took place at the outdoor hockey rink, with a number of young kids dressed up in Montreal hats and jerseys.
“Everybody loves him,” says Hennigar. “Even little kids, they call everybody wearing red Carey Price.”