What was originally an outdoor shinny hockey weekend limited to members of the Guts Hockey team out of Vancouver has grown in meaning and size since we lost Andrew in December 2009. The tournament that followed that January was then renamed to the “Guts/Nutts Cup” in memory of Andrew, who many of the members of the Guts hockey team knew and loved.
This year it was bigger and better than ever, with over 50 guys taking over the entire hostel at the Apex Ski Resort and commandeering the outdoor rink across the parking lot for the entire weekend of March 8-11.
The tournament is about hockey in its purest, most Canadian form (e.g. outside!) and about having a great time with old and new friends. But it’s now also about remembering Andrew and stands as a symbol of one of the things Andrew was fighting for: our very Canadian way of life and taking a weekend to enjoy the benefits of it by spending time competing and having fun, and doing it in the most Canadian way possible.
This year the winners were the Hearts, who beat out the heavily favoured Diamonds with a combination of grit and skill. Andrew’s father Rick dropped the puck for the final game and watched from the sidelines while Drew’s good buddies from the Canadian Forces, Bryce Talsma and Wayne Niven helped their team take home the Cup in their first ever appearance at the tournament.
Much like January 2010 when Andrew’s brother Johnny took home the trophy in an emotional and unexpected win with his underdog team, we felt like Andrew was there helping his “army boys” along to their big win, and participating in the celebrations later.
God bless Nutts.