GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, N.L. – It’s every athlete’s dream to win a ring, and Grayson Pardy and Ryan Small have accomplished it before they even become teenagers.
“The expression on their faces when they got the rings, I haven’t seen before,” said Impact Hockey assistant coach Preston Pardy.
2006 Impact Hockey claimed gold in their division at the 2018 Montreal Meltdown in Montreal, Quebec. The team, which consisted of nine players from Newfoundland and multiple more from Labrador, Nova Scotia, and even Quebec, breezed to the championship with a final record of 6-0. They were rewarded with several pieces of hardware, including a championship belt and rings.
“Every boy’s dream is to win a heavyweight belt, and they actually won one,” Pardy said.
Pardy added that he was very proud to be able to coach his son.
“And what a great group of kids we had on the trip,” he said. “I mean these kids came together like they had been playing together for years, and yet they just met each other.”
Grayson Pardy and Small were the only players on the team from Grand Falls-Windsor, and the squad’s toughest matchup came in the semi-finals where they defeated the Vermont Flames 3-1. They both said it felt amazing to be handed the championship belt after the tournament.
“We won our first game really bad, we were all really excited,” said Small. “It was more fun winning instead of losing, because last year we lost, and when we actually won the whole thing, it was amazing.”
Grayson Pardy said he loved how they played as a team.
“My teammates were really nice and funny,” he said. “We were staring at the window with the rings, and then we went out and won. That was my favourite part of the whole experience.”
Both Pardy and Small had successful years with minor hockey, medaling with their respective teams at provincials with Pardy winning gold.
“Next year we’re going to hopefully stick with the 06 Impact team, and once again go on to bigger and better tournaments hopefully,” said assistant coach Pardy.
Both players were asked how many more rings they thought they could win in their lives.
“100,” Small said without hesitation.