Rogers Hometown Hockey kick-started the holiday season with a visit to Trillium Health Partners’ (THP) paediatric unit. Joined by Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, hosts of Rogers Hometown Hockey on Sportsnet, members of the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Mississauga Steelheads visited Credit Valley Hospital on Dec. 4 for a meet and greet with some of THP’s youngest patients and their families.  

Touring rooms of the paediatric unit and Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) clinic, patients shared stories of resilience with MacLean and Slone and Steelheads players, exchanged gifts and posed for photos to capture the special moments for everyone involved. To close out the morning, Steelheads players, along with MacLean and Slone, joined patients for a spirited game of mini sticks.    

“We are so grateful to Ron, Tara and the Mississauga Steelheads for taking time out of their day to meet with these young patients,” says Jennifer Speziale, THP women and children’s program director. “As we head into the holiday season, we know how difficult it must be for some of our patients who won’t be celebrating at home, but we’re thankful for moments like these where we can put a smile on children’s’ faces.” 

The visit will be broadcast nationally by Sportsnet on Dec. 23 as part of that evening’s Rogers Hometown Hockey broadcast, which starts at 5:30 p.m. The Rogers Hometown Hockey cross-Canada tour will be coming to Mississauga on Dec. 22-23 at Celebration Square.

“As proud members of the community, these visits are an important way for our players and staff to give back,” says James Richmond, Mississauga Steelheads general manager and head coach. “It’s a humbling experience to listen to patients’ stories and do an activity with them. If we can share some laughs along the way, that’s a win for us. The Trillium Health Partners team are exceptional and we truly appreciate the opportunity to share the spirit of hockey and bring smiles to the faces of patients, families, staff and volunteers.” 

This is the first time a hospital has been featured as part of Rogers Hometown Hockey, which tells the unique stories of communities along the way. This visit is a reminder there is spirit in sport, strength in community and an unwavering bravery in the way THP’s youngest patients battle illness every day.