Spe­cial day

MacKin­non boys play­ing on same ice to­day for first time in years

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON MAL­LOY

It’s been eight years since John and Mona MacKin­non could watch their sons play hockey in per­son on the same day.

The Sum­mer­side par­ents get the op­por­tu­nity to­day when Car­son vis­its with the Ri­mouski Oceanic for a 3 p.m. game with the Char­lot­te­town Is­lan­ders while Ryan and his UPEI Pan­thers team­mates host the St. F.X. X-Men at 7 p.m. Both games are at the Eastlink Cen­tre as part of the Hockey Day in P.E.I. fes­tiv­i­ties.

“There’s a lot of ex­cite­ment and a lot of pride taken in our boys to both be play­ing at a fairly elite level for their age right in front of us in our own prov­ince,” John said Fri­day, on his way to Hal­i­fax to watch Car­son play the Moose­heads.

Ryan, a de­fence­man, left Sum­mer­side af­ter his first year of ban­tam to at­tend Notre Dame in Wil­cox, Sask., when Car­son was eight years old.

It was dif­fi­cult at first, but the fam­ily, in­clud­ing older sis­ter Emily, who is fin­ish­ing her teach­ing de­gree at St. Thomas Univer­sity in Fredericton, N.B., were there to sup­port one an­other.

“Be­ing away is one thing, but be­ing away so far brings it to an­other level,” John ad­mit­ted.

Ryan went on to play three sea­sons in the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League with the Oceanic be­fore end­ing his ma­jor ju­nior ca­reer as the Is­lan­ders cap­tain last sea­son.

Car­son, a left-winger, fol­lowed a sim­i­lar hockey path. He spent the past two sea­sons at Notre Dame and is in his rookie sea­son with the Oceanic.

John said a large fam­ily gath­er­ing is ex­pected to­day at the Eastlink Cen­tre as it has been three or four years since some have saw Car­son play.

It’s “not ev­ery­day we both get to play on the same ice,” Ryan said. “It’s def­i­nitely been a day marked on our cal­en­dar for a while now.”

John said the boys, while spend­ing a lot of time apart in re­cent years, are close.

“Car­son’s big­gest fan is Ryan,” John said. “Those boys talk ev­ery day. That’s a big ad­van­tage Car­son has as a 16 year old in the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League. . . When there’s dif­fi­cult times, he has some­one to talk to that has done it.”

Both boys are rook­ies in their re­spec­tive leagues, but are play­ing key roles at a young age.

Coaches have noted both Ryan and Car­son are very ma­ture for their age.

John said he cred­ited the An­drews Hockey Growth Pro­gram and Notre Dame for help­ing both boys grow, not only as hockey play­ers, but as young men.

“Al­lan An­drews took both of those boys un­der his wing at a very young age,” John said. “Al­lan still calls to­day and asks how the boys are do­ing.”

Brothers Ryan, left, and Car­son MacKin­non will both play to­day at the Eastlink Cen­tre as part of Hockey Day in P.E.I.

FILE PHO­TOS

SUB­MIT­TED

Ryan MacKin­non is in his fresh­men sea­son with the UPEI Pan­thers.

QMJHL

Car­son MacKin­non is a rookie with the Ri­mouski Oceanic.

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