A high-flying boys hockey team from Barrie got a taste of the big leagues — both the good and the bad. The good: a round trip in a chartered jet — a luxury usually enjoyed by NHL players, not 12-year-old boys. The bad: the hard reality of league scheduling rules that threatened their place in a prestigious international tournament. But thanks to Georgian International and its aviation subsidiary, Air Georgian, the Barrie Colts pulled off the seemingly impossible.
The Peewee AA team were in Quebec City, set to play a Russian team on a Friday morning and then a third-round game on Saturday. Meanwhile, back in Barrie, they were also slated to play Friday evening in their minor league playoffs. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s rules stipulated the playoffs had to be completed by Sunday. If the Colts missed a game, they forfeited the five-game series, which they were leading two games to none. But if they returned to Barrie, they’d miss the remainder of the Quebec International Peewee Hockey Tournament. The dilemma? How to play two games 12 hours apart in two cities 870 kilometres apart.
Upon hearing the situation, Georgian International’s President, Jamie Massie, who used to own the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts and had played in the same international tournament more than 40 years ago as a member of the Toronto Marlboros, chartered an 18-seat Beech 1900 to fly the team home to play their Friday evening game. Then it was back to the Barrie airport that same evening for the return flight to Quebec City. Although the team won the Barrie game that night but lost in Quebec City the next day, they were all flying high.