Is there anything more Canadian than the convergence of Tim Hortons and junior hockey?
But, for defenceman Cam McDonald he can thank lady luck these two Hoser entities merged for him on Tuesday afternoon.
The 19-year-old, who regularly plays for the Amherst Ramblers in the MHL, received a call from the Moncton Wildcats on Monday, to let him know he'd be a call-up for their QMJHL game the next night against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
Before the game he and two Wildcats -- forwards Mark Tremaine and Ryan Penny -- made a stop for coffee in downtown Moncton.
"The coffee shop they usually go to was closed so they said, 'Let's go to Timmy's then' and they got their coffees and I got mine," said McDonald.
The trio then proceeded to the rink to get ready for the game. Roughly 20 minutes after McDonald finished his cuppa joe, he rolled up the rim to find he had won a prize of $5,000 in the java juggernaut's yearly contest.
"I just started jumping around," said McDonald. "It was pretty exciting.
"I had to probably look at it 10 times to really take it in. When I finally clued in I was just showing it to everybody and everyone was coming to look at it."
The prize was one of 100 pre-paid credit cards worth $5,000 given away by the coffee giant.
Despite all the excitement in the dressing room, there was still a game to be played. With McDonald riding a lucky streak, all the player were trying to get the defenceman the puck during their 5-1 victory over the Titan.
"They were all telling me to shoot the puck because they thought I'd be able to get my first (QMJHL) goal," said McDonald.
He didn't score, but he did finish with a plus-1 and he admits his mind might have wandered a time or two while sitting on the Wildcats bench.
"It was a little hard to focus because I was just thinking, 'What am I going to spend that money on?'"
Like McDonald, both Penny and Tremaine had also ordered medium-sized coffees. But there were no hard feelings when the native of Waverley, N.S., ended up the big winner.
"They didn't ask for anything," said McDonald with a laugh. "But I'm going to get them something, just so they won't have any grudges against me."
To be sure, junior hockey for most players is not a money making venture, even in the Canadian Hockey League. For McDonald, who works part-time in construction, the money will come in handy. He plans on saving at least half for his tuition at Nova Scotia Community College next year, going to a country concert in P.E.I., and buying a new cell phone.
"It's definitely going to make life a bit easier," said McDonald. "Especially being a junior hockey player."
By Wednesday, McDonald had already been sent back to his team in Amherst, where word of his jackpot had spread.
"They're all pretty jealous," said McDonald of his teammates in the MHL. "My phone hasn't stopped ringing. I've already told them that I'd pay for dinner on wing night."
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