NEWS

World Junior Hockey player Joe Hicketts' parents win big

01/07/2015 03:20 EST | Updated 03/09/2015 05:59 EDT
People watching the final World Junior Hockey game between Canada and Russia might have noticed a section of nervous, excited and proud parents sitting in the crowd.

Two of them were Kamloops' Mike Hicketts and his wife Lee-Gaye, the parents of Team Canada defenceman Joe Hicketts.

"We're feeling extremely proud and a little bit wearied," said Mike Hicketts. He spoke with the host of Radio West, Rebecca Zandbergen.

Hicketts said that 80 per cent of the people in the arena were wearing a team Canada jersey at the final match.

"Anytime you're in an arena with 18,000 screaming maniac fans, it's just an amazing feeling," he said.

Hicketts called the game "nerve-racking," especially when the Russian team caught up after Canada's strong start. From where he was sitting, he could tell the players were starting to worry.

"They were all getting pretty excited and nervous with that 5-4 score," said Hicketts.

The section he was in exploded when the game finished.

"All the parents were hugging and high-fiving and giving congratulations and waiting ... so we could sing O Canada with the boys," he said.

That night all the players and their parents celebrated the win together.

Hicketts said he wasn't expecting his son Joe to be at the World Juniors this year. Earlier in the season Joe injured his elbow and he had to miss three months of playing.

The setback also complicated his chances of getting more work. On draft day his son didn't make the list. It was a big disappointment for Joe, but he persisted in his training and went to spring camp in Detroit, eventually earning himself a contract.

"He just worked his butt off," said Hicketts.

Mike Hicketts said his son isn't afraid of working hard to earn his place. He said that as a smaller defenceman, Joe has to earn everything he gets.

"He just uses his smarts and his intelligence to make up for what he make lack in other areas."

To listen to the full interview, click on the audio link labelled: Interview with dad of Team Canada defenceman Joe Hicketts

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