Every player on the ice at the Dorval Arena on Saturday knew Tristan Morrissette-Perkins in one way or another.
“I played hockey with him since I was five years old,” said long-time friend Patrick Meagher.
They remember him as a good friend, a team player, and a kid with a great passion for the sport of hockey. So when they were asked to take part in a charity hockey tournament in Tristan’s honour, it was a no-brainer.
“We grew up playing hockey, so you know, it’s just right,” said Tristan’s cousin, Branden Bilney-Morrissette.
“Any person that we contacted, if they weren’t working or away, every one of them said yes to this idea,” said Larry Sherrard, Tristan’s former coach.
Tristan Morrisette-Perkins passed away tragically last July, when he was struck by a VIA Rail passenger train in Lancaster, Ontario.
For those close to him, it’s been a long and painful six months.
“He’s always been a great kid and we miss him a lot,” said friend William Cadorette
But this tournament is helping them keep his memory alive, and move one step closer to finding peace.
“I think this is helping their healing process, because how many kids or teenagers go through something like this?” said family friend Joanne Padvaiskas, who has known Tristan since he was just a tot.
“I find it really interesting seeing how many people Tristan affected through hockey,” Meagher told Global News.
Proceeds raised will go to a fund set up in Tristan’s name, which will benefit a student from John Rennie High School where Tristan had been a star hockey player. Tristan’s father, Jason Perkins, estimates that the tournament raised roughly $4,000.
The two-day event brought together 64 players in a friendly four-on-four competition.
“This one is all of his friends and his buddies and his teammates, so there’s no way he’s not smiling down on this,” said Perkins.
This first edition of the tournament was a huge success, so much so that Tristan’s family is already looking to the future, hoping to make this tournament an annual tradition.