Lil’ NHL is off and skating this week

Little NHL hockey opening ceremonies with Indigenous NHL alumni players on the ice.(Photo by Sam Laskaris)

By Sam Laskaris Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Chico Ralf was emotional. Ralf has held various executive roles with Ontario’s largest youth hockey tournament for about 35 years now. And he’s approaching the 20-year mark serving as the vice-president of the Little Native Hockey League tourney, which is often simply called the Little NHL. The 2023 tournament, which is being held in Mississauga, staged its opening ceremonies on March 12. A total of 184 squads from across the province are participating in this year’s tourney. The Little NHL was cancelled in each of the past three years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Overwhelming,” Ralf said when asked for his reaction to the fact the tournament has returned this year. “I just can’t believe that we’re back. I was so worried after…

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