By: Liam Kirk
When I was selected by Peterborough in the Import Draft, I didn’t really know what to expect. All I knew was I would be leaving home for the first time and moving to a whole new country to pursue my hockey dreams.
From day one, the fans in Peterborough were incredible and were so welcoming to me on social media, so much so that I knew playing for the Petes would be something I’d never forget. I remember my very first regular season game at the PMC, it was so loud, and the fans were so excited to see the new team for that season. It was an unbelievable opening night. Even though I only got to play two years with the Petes, I realized how much the fans of the Patch loved the team. To all of you from the bottom of my heart, I’m thankful I had the opportunity to play for your team.
To the coaching staff, thank you for giving me the opportunity to develop in the best junior league in the world. You all played a huge role in changing my game for the better and also in teaching me life lessons that I will carry with me forever.
To my teammates, the memories we made will last a lifetime. I’ve made so many lifelong friends. The long bus journeys, the countless hours spent together at the rink and in the gym. The bond we had, aiming for that one goal of being champions brought us all so close together and it was one of the best teams I’ve ever been a part of. I only wish we could have had one more year together and been able to say our goodbyes in person. To the rookies and returning players, I wish you the best of luck in the future and really hope you boys bring a championship back to Peterborough. Oh, and Shawn, you could never rock 14 as good as I did.
When I first got to Peterborough, my billets were on vacation and weren’t supposed to be back until four days after I arrived. When I found out they were cutting their holiday short to come back and welcome me into their home, I knew I had landed on my feet.
Keith, Tracy, Matt, Claire, Ryan and the rest of the family I can’t say enough good things about you all. You welcomed me into your family and treated me like your own from the start. From taking me to see the Lakers championship game to causing trouble at Blue Jays games, and driving me around the city when I needed rides and helping me through tough times at the start, you were all so amazing and loving and I can’t thank you enough. I only wish we got to say goodbye in person, although it wouldn’t be goodbye it would be see you soon. We became family for life, and you all have a special place in my heart
Mum and dad, even though you weren’t there in person (apart from the surprise visit) you were always a phone call away to help guide me and push me to be better. You have given up so much for me and Jonathan, and allowed us to follow our dreams. The countless hours spent driving me around the country to play the sport I love and all the sacrifices you had to make haven’t gone unnoticed. I wouldn’t be where I am without you and I can’t thank you enough.
Finally to my girlfriend, Alisha. They always say behind every great man there is an even greater woman, as much as I’d like to say it’s not true, I can’t. You have been there for me throughout my journey as a Pete from start to finish and were my biggest supporter the whole time. Thank you for always wanting the best for me even if it meant watching me leave year after year, and for giving me constant love and support for the last six years. I love you with all my heart.
I could go on and on about my time in Peterborough and how thankful I am to everyone who has been a part of my time there, but I’ll leave it with this. It was only short, but the two years I played in Peterborough changed my life in so many ways. I’m so thankful and I only wish I could have had my last ride as an OA and had one last chance to play for the maroon and white.
Go Petes Go