by Adrian MacNair
Jaden Ferrario, an eight-year-old Abbotsford boy, now owns a piece of hockey history.
Jaden was among the throng of frenzied fans at Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver last Friday night. However, he was the only one to return home with the game stick of Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo.
At the event with his father Randy, Jaden ran up to the glass after the 1-0 game as Luongo was circling the ice, hoisting his stick skyward while fans cheered his shutout and first-star selection.
When it came time to select a lucky fan to get the stick, Canuck mascot, Fin, spotted Jaden through the crowd.
Luongo tossed the stick over the glass, but a group of adults began grabbing and pulling at it.
Jaden’s mother, Aprille Ferrario, said the situation was quickly resolved by security guards, and Jaden was given his prize shortly after.
Jaden plays centre and goaltender for Timbits pre-Atom hockey at the Abbotsford Training Rink, where he learned to play as a four-year-old.
On Sunday during practice, Jaden got a chance to show his teammates the famous stick, the tape tattered and worn with black marks from blocking blistering slapshots.
“I’m pretty sure they thought it was pretty cool,” he said grinning.
This was his second visit to an NHL playoff game, getting a chance to watch the Canucks against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round last year.
But a Stanley Cup final game is even better, especially one as pivotal as Game 5, which sent the Canucks back to Boston for a chance to win it all on Monday night.
The stick looms larger than life for Jaden, not least because it’s at least a foot taller than the 4’6” gradeschooler.
He isn’t shy about declaring his intent to be an NHL goaltender when he grows large enough to wield the stick.
Until then, Jaden intends to keep it in a trophy case. Aprille, however, is a doubtful he’ll let it out of his grasp any time soon.