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Game faces: Kids transform into Colts for a Day (11 photos)

'It felt like it was real, like I’m in the OHL,' says participant

Barrie's Sadlon Arena was a hive of activity on Sunday as young hockey players from around the city took to the ice during the annual Colt for a Day event.

The fun-filled day saw the kids play in a game with many players from the Ontario Hockey League's Barrie Colts, as well as take part in an autograph and photo session, and grab some lunch. They were also given a Barrie Colts practice jersey to keep.

The event, presented by the Kempenfelt Rotary Club, is a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie.

Wide-eyed boys and girls met with Barrie’s OHL stars that included Colts captain and Los Angeles Kings prospect Brandt Clarke.

There was a chorus of cheers to go along with plenty of goals scored, as the Colts set up youngsters at the front of the net with smooth, on-the-blade passes all day long.

Torin Schwartz, a 10-year-old right-winger on his regular minor league team, explained to BarrieToday what the experience meant for him.

“It was good, very fun," said Schwartz, who managed to get a goal in the game. “It felt pretty good."

Clarke said he loved taking part in the event with the kids.

“It’s good that we are doing this, and it’s fun for the community,” he said.

When asked what he would have thought of the experience when he was the same age as these young players, there was no hesitation from Clarke.

“It would have been great! I looked up to the OHL guys, and now they do the same to us," he said. 

Tyler Savard, a left-winger with the Colts, arrived on the team just three weeks ago in a trade with the Soo Greyhounds.

“It’s great to spend time with the kids and get out there and play a little scrimmage with them. A lot of fun," said Savard. "I’m from Peterborough, so I looked up to the Petes. I never got a chance to do this as a kid growing up, but if I did, it would have been unbelievable, as I looked up to those guys.”

Avery Penfold, 10, said that his favourite part of the day was “scoring four goals.” Quite a day for him! Maybe the OHL scouts were watching as well.

Declan Munn, who's 11, described his favourite moment as “just playing with the Colts.”

He also came up large on the scoresheet scoring three goals.

“It felt like it was real, like I’m in the OHL," Munn said. 

When asked about his chances of one day playing for the Colts, Munn was positive in his response.

“I hope so," he said. 

Munn's favourite Barrie player is winger Declan McDonnell, “because my name’s Declan,” Munn stated without batting an eye.

Can’t argue with that.

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About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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