02/29/2016 11:48 AM
Photo By: John Warren / Brampton Beast
Brampton Beast winger Scott Howes grew up in downtown Toronto where he took his first strides on the ice at Moss Park Arena. Moss Park, located between Jarvis St. and Parliament St., south of Dundas, is home to Moss Park Hockey League (MPHL)—a children’s hockey program driven by the community. For over 50 years, volunteers and donations have kept the league alive to provide children from low-income families in at-risk communities an opportunity to play hockey.
Growing up in the downtown core, Howes wasn’t given the easy opportunity to play hockey, but with persistence and relentless drive to play game he loves, he found himself on ice every chance he got. Igniting the skills he learned at the Moss Park rink, Howes blossomed into the top-notch left winger he is today. Displaying his tenacity for the game, he has played in some of the top competitive and pro leagues in the world, including Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, American Hockey League, ECHL and overseas in Europe.
None of this would’ve been possible if it wasn’t for Moss Park Hockey League Hockey League.
“My parents started me off there, I must’ve been around three years old and ever since then, I’ve been addicted,” Howes said. “I was always a kid that had a stick in my hand and a ball with me and I guess I just kept getting better and better. You do things you don’t even know you’re doing and you build off of that. But definitely a ball and a stick in my hand the whole time when I was a young kid until now.”
Although Howes was passed over by teams in the OHL, barriers never stunted his drive as the Toronto native earned a spot in the QMJHL. Howes called on his perseverance he learned while playing in Moss Park. When most would see no other option but to give up, Howes never quit on his dream. His unyielding ambition led to the opportunity to play in Drummondville and Saint John in the QMJHL where he took his game to the next level.
“Drummondville was a great experience to be away from home as an older guy and a rookie. The coaches were fantastic just teaching me, I was never really taught a lot until I got there,” Howes reminisces on his early years. “The guys you’re playing with are drafted or on the radar of being drafted so you’re playing with some pretty good hockey players and then moving on to Saint John and being welcomed by Saint John organization, it was an awesome experience.”
A modest Howes would only describe himself as good with the puck, an okay skater, somewhat decent shot with a quick release. His stats, however, tell a different story. The winger recorded 118 points in 113 games played in the QMJHL. Going on to playing 183 games in his ECHL career, Howes has 58 goals and 76 assists.
While playing for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL, Howes and the Aces enjoyed great success in their 2010-11 season and won the Kelly Cup, endowing Howes the title of playoff MVP. Staying true to his humble beginnings, Howes credited his success to his teammates.
“My playoffs, I mean, the guys around me happened to go right at the right time. The team there was awesome, I’d say that’s probably my biggest accomplishment for sure was with that championship and then MVP.”
On January 29, 2015, the Brampton Beast hosted their first ever “Jersey Toss” night, where fans got to throw their hockey jerseys on the ice to be donated to the Moss Park Hockey League. Howes proved he hadn’t forgotten his roots and purchased a section of tickets which he donated to the Moss Park Hockey League in order for those kids to have the opportunity to attend a professional ECHL game.
The success of the event brought the Jersey Toss back for a second time in the Powerade Centre on February 28 of 2016 to support Moss Park and grassroots hockey.
Howes, suffering from an injury this season and hadn't suited up in 13 games, made it back to the lineup right in time for the Moss Park tribute. It didn’t take long for the left winger to find the back of the net, scoring the first Beast goal in just ten minutes into the game. With uncontained excitement, Howes smashed his stick on the ice in glory as Jerseys flooded the ice in his triumph, doing justice for his childhood roots. With the support for the community, this year the Beast collected over 10 bags of equipment, a bag of hockey sticks and four full bags of jerseys to donated to the kids at Moss Park Hockey League.
Thanks to community hockey like the Moss Park Hockey League, more kids will get the chance to play hockey and keep their hockey dreams alive.
According to Statistics Canada, the cost to enroll one child in a sport is $953 per year, making it difficult for one third of Canadian families to enroll their children in organized sports. The MPHL helps more than 300 children each year play to hockey with proper facilities and equipment. The league demonstrates the importance of sports, community, and removes financial barriers so all kids have equal opportunity to lace up the skates.
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The Brampton Beast are grateful for the community, their ongoing support and for all of your generous donations for the Moss Park Hockey League and we will be continuing to accept donations. For more information or general media inquiries on the Brampton Beast please contact Chris Ballard, Public Relations Coordinator at (905) 564-1684 or firstname.lastname@example.org.