After Ryan Spooner was selected by the NHL's Boston Bruins, he and his squad continued to participate in Play On!, playing the past four seasons and even winning the Elite Championship in 2016. Here's what the Ottawa native had to say about #TheTourney and beyond.
What are your fondest memories playing road hockey as a kid?
I remember playing after-school with my buddies in these tournaments we would create, playing goalie a lot. I also used to play with my father — who was also in goal — and shoot on him.
You’ve participated in every Play On! event over the past four seasons, winning the Elite Championship for the first time in 2016. What brings you back year after year?
I enjoy spending a weekend with my buddies, doing something competitive. Play On! brings us together and let's us be kids again.
Over 70 NHL players have participated in Play On! over the past couple seasons, but none we've seen with your combination of speed and accuracy. What’s the Spooner secret?
Ironically, my slapshot in ice hockey isn't hard or accurate at all but for some reason I can shoot better with a ball. I usually just close my eyes and hope for the best!
Ever match up with Bruins' captain Zdeno Chára to see who can shoot a hockey ball harder?
Not yet but I can tell you who shoots a hockey puck harder — and it isn't me!
How was your experience winning the Elite division in Ottawa last year?
Our semi-final game was against a team that plays ball hockey all year round so that was our toughest game. They were good but we found a way to pull out a 9-8 win. We won both semis and finals in a shootout. It was all very cool.
Ottawa is looking to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest single day street hockey tournament at Play On!, so we have booked the Rockcliffe Flying Club runway for this attempt first in June. Will your squad be there to defend your title?
Sounds like a great time! It all depends on my season in Boston: I hope to be here as the Stanley Cup finals happen shortly — hopefully the Bruins make it in.
What's your advice to kids participating in Play On! across Canada this year?
It truly is a one-of-a-kind event so enjoy the time with your friends and family — good luck to everyone!