Well folks…as promised, I have a whole lot of facts and hockey stories to share!…so with no further delay, here is the Sal Piamonte Hockey Fact #2:
SAL PIAMONTE HOCKEY FACT #2:
Well…as many young Canadian teenagers aspiring to be NHL Hockey players, I unfortunately, did not have my “growth spurt” until I was 21 yrs old!!!…This meant, that all throughout my minor hockey days, from PeeWee up until Midget, I was not exactly the biggest kid on the team…but I had plenty of heart, hockey sense/skills, speed, and determination. Just as I was turning 16 years of age, I was offered a walk-on tryout with the Smiths Falls Bears Jr. A Team of the CJHL…I remember being in camp in the small but passionate town of Arnprior, Ontario, and low and behold, as a defenseman sizing up at 5’10 and 160 lbs soaking wet, I made it as the 7th defenseman on the squad. I played a few exhibition games, but after the second one, the coach called me to let me know that he was going to send me back down to midget so that I could get some actual playing time instead of riding the bench as a young rookie for the Bears…reluctantly, I attended the Nepean Raiders AA Midget tryouts where I wowed at training camp, but in a weird twist of fate, my rights were suddenly dealt to the South Ottawa Warriors in the same league….which, as it turned out, hosted the Air Canada Cup that year!…So off to South Ottawa I went, and had a great time…honing my skills, and having the amazing opportunity to perform for former NHL’er and long time Detroit Red Wings Tim Higgins, and Chicago Blackhawks alum Ted Boland…
Under Coach Higgins, I grew as a more complete hockey player, and as a young man…and as a result, I was drafted in the 4th round of the CJHL Draft that spring by none other than the Smiths Falls Bears, where I went on to play the next 3 seasons, almost breaking the goal scoring record for a Smiths Falls defenseman in my second season, tallying 16 goals as a blueliner!!!
But…probably the most memorable thing I remember from Coach Higgins, was not just the amazing stories he would tell us about Peter Klima, Bob Probert, and his NHL days…my most memorable moment would come following a game in South Ottawa, where it is safe to say that I probably played one of the worst games of my life. After the game, I was dejected, frustrated, and was hanging my head in the room when suddenly, the door busted wide open, and it was coach Higgins:
“Piamonte!!!” he yelled…..I perked up, scared for the reaming I thought I was about to receive….”There are a billion people living in China, and not one of them cares how shitty you played tonight!”…
…and then he walked back outside, teaching me one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned so far in my life….
DON’T LET ONE BAD DAY GET YOU DOWN!!!….KEEP FIGHTING, AND COME BACK STRONGER!!! 😉
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT PEEPS & PLEASE KEEP LISTENING, LIKING, VOTING, AND SHARING!!!
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Stay Tuned for the SP Hockey Fact #3….