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Corvairs retire Norrie’s No. 22

It wasn’t about how many goals he scored or how fast he skated, it was who Tyler Norrie was off the ice that had the greatest impact on his fellow players.

“Right from when he was little, five- or six-years-old, he started playing,” Norrie’s mom, Karen Hishon said. “Hockey was his life. It was our life, too.”

On Saturday, the Caledonia Corvairs held a special ceremony to commemorate Norrie’s life, and to officially retire his number, 22.

“This means a lot, to know he was though so much of,” Hishon said.

Norrie passed away suddenly on June 3 of this year when he was working out at the Travelodge gym in Simcoe, finishing his first season with the University of Waterloo Warriors.

He was 22.

After playing minor hockey in Simcoe, Norrie moved on to AAA hockey in Brantford before returning home to play for the Niagara District Junior C Hockey League’s Simcoe Storm for a year.  

He then went on to become a core player with the Brantford Golden Eagles and Caledonia Corvairs.

Duncan Norrie, Tyler’s dad, called the Corvairs, “a class A organization,” for opting to retire Tyler’s number.

“It means a lot, to know that there won’t be another person playing as his number,” Karen said.

“Everything that people are doing helps to keep him alive,” said Lynsey Norrie, Tyler’s younger sister.

Several of Norrie’s teammates from each of his teams came out to pay their respects at the Saturday night ceremony.

“Tyler was always a happy guy. Always smiling, no matter what,” said former Golden Eagles goalie Bryce O’Hagan. “He was the type of guy you could ask him the time of day, and he’d give you his watch.  He was always caring.”

Mike Rebry also played in Brantford with Tyler, and were close off the ice as well.

“He was like a brother to me,” Rebry said.  “I wouldn’t trade my memories with him for the world. I’m honoured to call him my best friend.”

“He had an unspoken character,” said Nate Mitton, who played in Brantford and Caledonia. “You just wanted to be near him.”

Mitton added that Norrie had a, “huge sense of humour,” and played several pranks on him.

He was happy to see the Corvairs honouring Norrie’s memory.

“I think this is awesome,” Mitton said. “He definitely deserves it. Tyler was the essence of what we want players to be. He was respectable and kind, on and off the ice.”

At the ceremony, Corvairs general manager and director of hockey operations Brian Rizzetto announced that the team’s owners, Jerry Montour and Kenny Hill, had put $10,000 into the Tyler Norrie Foundation. It’s a fund that has been established for past, present and future Corvairs.

The fund is to support players in their lives off the ice. Rizzetto said it would be for things like starting a business, paying for school, or a benevolence fund if someone was in crisis.

Players wanting to access the funds will need to apply.  

There was also a banner unveiled at the Haldimand County Caledonia Centre that has Norrie’s last name and number on it. It will hang outside of the Corvairs’ dressing room, so that the players will see it whenever they are at the arena.  

Framed jerseys were presented to his mom, dad and sister, Lynsey, was also given a Sutherland Cup championship ring with her brother’s name and number on it as a keepsake.  

GHC All-Star Game

GOLDEN HORSESHOE CONFERENCE

ALL STAR GAME

Monday January 26, 2015, 7:30 pm

Fort Erie Leisureplex

Tickets

Adults $9.00  

Senior/Student $7.00  

Children under 6 are free

 

Corvairs in the Community

submitted photo

(l-r) Caledonia Pro Fit Corvairs Mitch Purdie and Kyle Tanev read to students during the River Heights literacy event on Nov. 7.

Corvairs promote literacy at River Heights

By Ethan Harrison, Special to the Sachem

The Caledonia Corvairs spent the day at River Heights School on Friday, Nov. 7 as part of a literacy program held for the Grade 4, 5 and 6 classes.

Earlier in the week, teachers took 184 junior students to the Hamilton Bulldogs game for their annual literacy event game, attended by 13,000 teachers and children from across the region.

Although the kids loved it, teacher Donna Brownell felt it would mean more to students if they had the opportunity to do hands-on language activities with the hockey players.  This would be impossible for the Bulldogs to accomplish, but was a welcomed opportunity for the local Jr. B team to get involved in the community.

Under the direction of the teachers, the players alternated between all of the junior classes to read The Moccasin Goalie, create an acrostic poem, as well as participate in a spelling game.  There was time allowed after each activity for discussion and for the kids to ask players questions.

Having the players work with the students contributed to the success of the day.

“The Corvair players were able to make connections with the kids on a personal level,” stated Brownell.

“It’s important for the kids to see the Corvairs care about school.  They’re not just hockey players.”

“It was a great day and a chance for us to give back to the community,” said Corvair Mitch Purdie.  “To see the kids’ faces light up and see how much they look up to us was pretty special.  We could really see how we are role models for them and it was important for us to share the day promoting literacy and reading.”

Connor Patton and Todd Ratchford, returning Corvairs from last year, brought the Sutherland Cup as well as their championship rings, which the kids were able to try on.

Many of the players talked to the students about wanting to earn NCAA scholarships or going on to play hockey in university.

“In order to achieve these goals, you have to work hard both on and off the ice.  It takes perseverance, dedication and lots of hard work.  These are character attributes that we are trying to instill in our students,” explained Brownell.

All of the players dressed in their team jerseys and posed for pictures and signed autographs throughout the day.  They also spent both recesses outside playing games with the students.

“I think it’s great to see our players giving back to our community,” said the Corvair’s general manager, Brian Rizzetto.  “I think everyone knows that the Corvair players are good hockey players, but events like this show what great kids they really are and that makes our organization proud.  In hockey you can’t win on the ice until you’re winning off it.”

Remembering Tyler Norrie

Caledonia Corvairs win Sutherland Cup

TICKETS

Adults $10

Students & Seniors $5

children 5 and under FREE

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