Hockey fans in P.E.I. got a rare chance to see the Stanley Cup in person on Sunday.
Summerside native and Tampa Bay Lightning talent scout Grant Sonier hosted the Cup, which made a stop in the city as part of its traditional summer tour with members of the 2021 championship-winning team.
"It's been a little bit overwhelming, I have to admit. A lot of people wanted to get their eyes on this Cup and I was really happy to be able to do this," Sonier said.
"I found out shortly after we won the Cup there was a chance it was coming, so I wanted to let the community see it.
"As a little kid, if I would have been able to see the Cup, it would have been a dream come true."
About 800 people came to Credit Union Place convention centre to see, take pictures with and even get to touch hockey's most prestigious trophy.
"It's a really cool experience," 13-year-old Summerside local Lucas Noblett said. "I've been a hockey fan all of my life and I think it's really neat to actually see it, let alone touch the Stanley Cup."
"It was one of my dreams to see the Stanley Cup, so I'm pretty happy now," said Riley Guptill, who along with his twin brother Chase was visiting P.E.I. from New Brunswick on a family vacation.
"You can kind of say that it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Stanley Cup," said eight-year-old Mason Doughart, though he added that as a Canadiens fan, he would've rather seen Montreal win the trophy. The Habs lost the final series to Tampa 4-1.
Sonier said he was happy to have met so many young Islanders who now aspire to become future NHL prospects.
"Some kids said if they win the Cup, I made them promise they'll invite me to their Cup day," Sonier said.
"Hockey is such a wonderful sport for more than just the sport — it's the relationships. All my best friends are guys that I played hockey with growing up. And, you know, throughout my career, I've met so many wonderful people.
"So today is a fun day, and I wanted it to be about everybody that could get out here."
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