BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – Most people know what the Little League World Series is but what about hockey’s version of that? Well, it’s called the Brick International Hockey Tournament. It’s held every year in Canada and this year one of the players from the winning team came from Binghamton.
“It’s amazing bringing home a trophy that nobody thought that anybody from here could have and they probably don’t even know what was going on,” said Brick Tournament champion Robbie Matson.
“This was a once in a lifetime experience for Robby,” said Robbie’s dad Robert.
Robbie Matson played for the Connecticut Junior Rangers, representing New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
“I thought it would be a little hard to make it,” said Robbie.
“There’s always a shot, he’s a very good player but we are seeing the best of the best in the Connecticut, New York, New Jersey area plus imports from as far away as Dallas so it was a little touch and go,” said Robert.
Robbie wound up being one of only 18 kids to make the team.
“I was pretty much bouncing off walls,” said Robbie.
The tournament was everything he thought it would be, the best ten year old hockey players across the U.S. and Canada playing right in the hockey capital of the world.
“They’re all very good and they never give up,” said Robbie.
“It’s something we’ve been watching video of for the last two to three years so to actually be there and see it was quite the experience,” said Robert.
The atmosphere in Edmonton resembled one of a playoff game. It’s no secret they take their hockey seriously in Canada.
“It was crazy, everybody was yelling and people were hanging over the boards,” said Robbie.
Robbie’s team dominated. The CJR Rangers won their first seven games before knocking off Alberta in overtime of the championship game to become the first America based team to win the tournament in 17 years.
“Our whole team was ecstatic, we were going crazy on the ice,” said Robbie.
“To go and watch your son be a part of that and be a team player and play with these amazing kids and all the talent up there, for us it was dream come true,” said Robbie.
A dream that might take some time to realize was actually reality.
“The magnitude of it, I don’t think they are going to understand until eventually maybe someday he goes back to Edmonton and sees his name on the cup or on the wall,” said Robert.
After an experience like this the sky is the limit for Robbie and his future goal, which is to one day play in the NHL.