Hockeyfest, Brantford go Guinness

“We did it!” says an excited and proud Walter Gretzky at the 2010 Brantford Street Hockey Tournament. “The tournament has 205 teams registered and that’ll put us in the record books.”

The dream was lofty — Brantford wanted to beat the record for the most teams registered in a street hockey tournament set in British Columbia back in 2007. This is not an easy feat when you’re trying to put together an event with more than 200 teams and endless volunteers.

On June 4-6, the record was broken that weekend, but not without some help. Actor and director, Kevin Smith, a headlining supporter of the tournament, showed up to compete with his team, aptly named “Puck U.” MuchMusic VJ Tim Deegan came out to play on the team of another MuchMusic regular, Boomer Phillips.

For Phillips, this event was more than just about breaking records — it was about breaking into the movie industry.

“I’m here trying to get into Kevin Smith’s new movie called ‘Hit Somebody,’” he explains. “I started a website, made t-shirts. I’m doing what I can to get noticed.”

And he wasn’t kidding. A documentary crew followed Phillips around during the two-day event, chronicling the epic struggle of Phillip’s team, The Youngbloods. With a record of 1-1-1, it was uncertain if Boomer would be considered for a role, but Smith felt differently.

“He was building up to the question, building up to the question, and I was just like ‘ya you can totally be in the movie…you don’t even need to audition,’” says Smith.

So for Phillips, like most participants in this massive event, the weekend was a success.

Although not everyone at the event had dreams as big as Phillips’, everyone wanted to win.

In the 13-15-year old division, St. Catharine’s BHI Explosion player Tyler had big ambitions for his team.

“We don’t really have a plan except to be bad ass and beat the other guys,” says Tyler.

This mentality was evident throughout many of the youth games and it was easy to point out lots of skilled players and possibly some little Wayne Gretzky’s in the making.

The only thing left to know is how Walter felt the weekend went.

“It was supposed to rain all weekend and [instead] it’s been a beautiful day for hockey,” says Walter. “Everyone’s happy and enjoying themselves. It’s a total success!”

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