Nathan has not slept much the night from Thursday to Friday. Virtually no, actually. He was too nervous.
Accompanied by his parents Adam and Janie, and his two brothers, he took the road very early Friday to Montreal, specifically in Brossard, at the training center of the Montreal Canadiens.
In an adjacent room to the ice where train players of the Montreal Canadiens, and under the supervision of his father, the boy 7 years patiently put on his uniform and goalkeeper jersey his team, Hockey experts 2 novice category B.
Dressed head to toe, stick in hand, standing in the room, he waited. Patiently. Then, around 9 am 30, goalkeeper coach of the purpose of the Montreal Canadiens, the Sherbrooke Stephane Waite, picked it up for a very special training.
Waite was not alone. Behind him, a great player accompanied, also dressed in head to toe in goalkeeper.
Carey Price greeted and gave a little bit of stick on Nathan leggings. Price starts gradually shaping it, who is recovering from an injury that has so far forced to miss several months of hockey.
The two masked men looked at each other a moment, before the larger of the two kneels beside him for photos customary for the family.
Then Nathan Chouinard followed his idol Carey Price on the ice, where he trained as if he were an NHL goalie, under the supervision of Waite.
What we did not see, it is the hands and feet of Nathan. The latter suffers from ectrodactyly, a rare genetic disorder that is marked by deformities in the hands and feet. Some also call this disease “the claw”, since it has no fingers or toes.
Despite these severe restrictions, Nathan Chouinard complete his first full season in minor hockey. His team is also always in the playoffs and, should a win this weekend against Magog, will play in the semifinals in its class.
In response to a report
This is a report produced by Radio-Canada Estrie, there are some months that triggered this event. The report was later relayed by Hockey Sherbrooke in Sherbrooke Stephane Waite.
“It’s Jean-Guy Rancourt Hockey Sherbrooke who sent me the story, wondering if it was possible to arrange a meeting with Carey. I did come into my office telling him that I had something special to show him. Him, he thought we would make the video, as usual, but it was the video of Nathan. We were both very impressed. Carey said yes immediately to a meeting, and fifteen minutes on the ice with him, “said Waite.
On the ice, and his new friend Nathan Carey took turns in goal and made both the exercises suggested by Stephane Waite.
Later in practice, Nathan visited the star defenseman PK Subban, who trained alone at the other end of the rink.
One that is currently on the disabled list took some shots on Nathan and tried to thwart. Without success.
“We always wanted Nathan to have the same opportunities as others, and when he wants to do something, we find ways to arrange to him. My spouse has changed him a bit his glove and blocker and had a Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Centre hand of Sainte-Justine, they are accustomed to, “said his mother, Janie Simard.
“He has a great season so far, he is happy! In addition to activities with his team, he participated in a camp with guards Alec Carrier (Cantonniers and Magog Chicoutimi Chicoutimi, Ed) and also with the team of his big brother Loïc. All the players on his team love it, they tell him it’s the best goalkeeper. It’s fantastic for his esteem. ”
“Nathan is suffering from the severe form, one must change his equipment, he wears skates three times larger than its form of foot to enter width. It also made the change from within. He’s used to skate like that since he was young. ”
“Nathan was a bit nervous. He expected to receive shots of all the Canadian players. He was relieved when he was told he would be alone with Carey on the ice! “Laughed his father.
“We have not announced it right away, we do not want to create false hopes. Price was injured, it was originally planned in January. ”
“He uses his blocker lot during games and his glove, even if it can not close it, it uses gravity, the weight of the puck, controlling it. He manages very well, “said Adam, who is the coach of the boy in the Novice.
Back in the locker room, Nathan undressed quietly watching the gifts Carey Price had left for him, including a beautiful vest with his autograph.
“You know, my friends at school did not believe me when I told them I would meet Carey Price,” said the boy, through a smile.
“Stéphane (Waite) told me to always look at the puck and when I had to keep close to me. You know, there are two guards that I love, Ben Bishop and Carey Price, but Carey Price is the best. Also, Subban launch came on me! He did not beat it launched alongside the goal! ”
“Already, the basic technique is very good, I did not have much to show,” said Stephane Waite through a smile.
“We have great admiration for him, for his determination, it would be easy to find excuses. You will do something good in life, I’m sure. ”
The best advice Nathan received Carey Price? Enjoy. Quite simply.