I could feel the energy when I walked into the rink that night. The seven sets of parents greeted me with smiling faces as they got ready to meet their sons on the ice for Senior Night. I can only imagine the amount of hard work, dedication and love over the years that brought them to this moment. Being a new "hockey mom", I wasn't sure what to expect when our son, Aiden joined the Deer Lakes DEVO team earlier this year. It has been a welcoming, positive experience from the beginning and I was honored when I was asked to take photos at Senior Night.

My favorite moment of the night was when each senior was individually called to skate through a "tunnel" of their teammates, across the ice and present a yellow rose to their mom. I wanted to capture the memory for the parents of the look on their faces as their son skated towards them for one of the last moments of their high school hockey career. The proud looks on the faces of their families told it all. I'm sure all of the memories of their dedication and hard work came flooding back and caught them in the moment. I will be the first to admit that I do not have a huge knowledge base when it comes to sports. But from getting to know the hockey parents in this district over the last few months, hockey requires early mornings, late nights, sacrifice, teamwork and a true love of the game.

The guys absolutely gave it their all during the game. It was so fun standing right up against the glass, capturing action shots of the seniors. Luckily, I had my "helper" Aiden to assist me with the names and numbers of the seniors because WOW...they are fast!! It's really fun to see how the skill and agility progresses over the years. I am used to watching the DEVO team learn to work together with their different skill levels. Some are fine tuning a few years of skills, some are still learning to skate and handle the puck. Having the chance to watch the high schoolers play was full of so much fun and energy. The game was action packed and fast paced! Just being able to skate with the precision that they do is so amazing to watch!

I wish the Deer Lakes seniors the best of luck with future endeavors. I hope this night of recognition of their hockey accomplishments gives them the motivation to excel in every way through the rest of their senior year. I hope they look back on this moment as a beautiful memory of years well spent. It's no secret that they days are long and the years are short. Time flies and in the blink of an eye, I will be standing in the exact same spot with pride in my heart and a bittersweet smile on my face, remembering the great times and wishing the best for the seniors that year. Good luck class of 2022- enjoy the rest of your year!!