For a moment, this meeting between a young player from Ukraine and Nick Suzuki will have, as far as possible, alleviated a terrible tragedy: that of having lost his father in the war.
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Yehor Kosenko, whose dad died during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, took advantage of his team’s visit to the Bell Center yesterday to share a precious moment with the captain of the Canadiens.
“I have no words to describe how excited I was to meet Nick Suzuki, testified the hockey player, his eyes still shining. It’s really exciting to be here and it was interesting to see the players in training this morning. »
Made aware of the tragedy that afflicted the young Kosenko, Suzuki naturally took care to offer him his most sincere condolences and to go there with a few words of encouragement. They then took a picture together.
“Dad would be proud of me”
Kosenko smiled. Undoubtedly, the current journey of Ukrainian hockey players, on the sidelines of the Tournoi pee-wee de Québec, has brought a balm to the hearts of these young people affected by the war. However, it does not erase everything.
Through coach Yegueniy Pysarenko, who acted as an interpreter, the young Kosenko agreed to speak briefly to the Journal about his situation in order to pay tribute to his father.
“It’s hard for me to think of him, but I know Dad would be proud of me,” he said, his eyes watering and his throat tight with emotion. I consider myself really lucky to be part of this trip to Canada. »
Kosenko believes that his finest moment so far in Quebec surrounds the victory of the Ukrainian team in its first match of the tournament, Saturday, in a Videotron Center full. It was Kosenko who scored his team’s first goal, to the applause of the crowd, in a 3-1 win against Boston.
“There were several people and we felt the support of the people, described Kosenko. It was impressive, but it felt good. »
“It’s a fantastic experience, with so many teams from all over the world,” summed up the man who wears number 10, about the Quebec tournament.
The war continues
After morning practice, the Ukraine team attended the game between the Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks in the evening.
Another experience to offer beautiful moments. Another experience that, however, was not going to completely forget everything else.
Because meanwhile, there are still two other players in the team with a father involved in the conflict against Russia. This is the case for little Mykyta Staskevich, whose dad, in his soldier’s uniform, sent a video to young people to encourage them from a distance.
“It’s heart warming to see this team, for his part reacted the head coach of the Canadian, Martin St-Louis, who also posed with the young people, in the morning. My dad was at their first game on Saturday [à Québec]. He missed the Canadian game to see Ukraine. They won and also won their second game.
“We can’t imagine what they experience as a country,” added St-Louis. Young people have the chance to live a normal experience in a sport, as young people should live. These are times to forget their reality. »
– With the collaboration of Jean-François Chaumont and Rodger Brulotte
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