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Decked in yellow Warriors t-shirts emblazoned with a heart bearing the number 16, the UW men’s hockey team lined up along the boards and bowed their heads. To their right, their counterparts from Laurier did the same. Waterloo Town Square stood silent for a minute on Friday, June 13 in observance and remembrance of the life of Tyler Norrie.


The teams were gathered — along with many amateur squads from local businesses — to play ball hockey in support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region as part of the Five Hole for Food national tour. The Warriors faced off against the Golden Hawks in the showcase match after a full day of ball hockey games between restaurant servers, accountants, lawyers, nurses, reporters, and bankers.


It was just over a week since their 22-year-old teammate Tyler Norrie passed away suddenly, and the team was still in mourning.


“You’re kind of in shock about the whole thing, we’re still not even sure how to address it,” said fourth-year forward Andy Smith. “It’s scary. We’re going to miss him. I think it’s good that we have that team structure to support each other during that.”


The local event was billed as “Beer, Hockey, Food,” and had several breweries and a few restaurants selling wares to an eager crowd. Bands and DJs played, volunteers spoke about what the Food Bank of Waterloo Region does, and people watched hockey. Visitors were encouraged to donate food or money to the Food Bank.


At 7:30 p.m., the Warriors prepared to play. The teams played four (goalie included) to a side, easily filling the tiny playing surface on the square. Laurier jumped out to a 4–1 lead early in a high-scoring game dominated by stick handling. Though the Warriors held ground as the game wore on, they were still down at halftime.


After the break, the Warriors dominated the ball near Laurier’s net. That, combined with some slick wrist shots and stand-on-head goaltending, helped UW pull ahead. They took the game 10–15. Both teams happily shook hands: the friendly match was full of jokes between the players, who are now very familiar after playing each other so often.


When talking to <em>Imprint</em> after the game, Andy Smith (who himself had several goals) named Matt Amadio his player of the game. Smith also spoke of the level of representation that the team usually has for community events.


&ldquo;Having lots of guys is fun, it&rsquo;s good that we all got to come out and experience it. The good thing about our group is that we do all these volunteer things, things in the community; we always have a lot of interest.&rdquo;
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