Hockey 101: Community-Building with the Hitmen


Hockey is played on sharp blades with wooden sticks and rubber pucks. Once the game was played exclusively outdoors – that place where it’s 20 below, and hot chocolate keeps players and fans alike warm.

But perhaps hockey is really more than just a game. I was in Brooks a few years ago to watch a Junior A game and was thrilled as much by the action on the ice as I was by the newcomers to the community who were rooting on the home team, with double-double Tims and joyous cheers.

Ken Dryden, the magnificent Montreal goaltender and astute chronicler of The Game, once wrote:

“Hockey is part sport and recreation, part entertainment, part business, part community-builder, social connector and fantasy-maker… hockey does far better than most in cutting across social division… It is this breadth… that makes hockey such a vivid instrument through which to view Canadian life.”

With that in mind, CRIEC and its partner Chartered Professional Accountants (Alberta) hosted more than 60 professionals, both internationally-trained and those from corporate Calgary, at an exciting Calgary Hitmen game last Friday evening (March 10) at the Saddledome.

The Hockey 101 session was a celebration of hockey, great food, business networking, making new friends and cheering for the good guys out on the ice – all rather Canadian!

Maggie Knight of CPA and Rosa Martinez of CRIEC did an amazing job in bringing together participants in their respective Connector Programs, which link Connectors from corporate Calgary with internationally-trained Connectees—all manner of accountants, lawyers and science-types.

Hockey 101 featured two true community-builders – Troy Norcross (Hitmen Video Coach and an Account Representative with Precision Drilling) and Brodie Sheahan (Lethbridge Hurricanes board member and Accountant with MNP) – who spoke passionately of how hockey served as a springboard for their business careers.

Add in a few great ice-breakers, tasty goodies and an exciting game (Hitmen won 4-3!), and this was a of textbook example of effective professional networking.

Networking need not involve 60 professionals and be at the Saddledome – it can be as simple of two people getting to know each other or chatting about professional opportunities over coffee, tea or beer anywhere in Calgary with a hockey game somewhere in the background.

Thanks to CPA, CRIEC, Calgary Hitmen, Lethbridge Hurricanes, Troy, Brodie, Maggie, Rosa and all the dedicated professionals who made Friday a great success.  —Bruce Randall

For more information on the Connector Programs:

Pease contact Maggie Knight if you are a CPA member or CPA student and wish to learn more about CPA.

Please contact Rosa Martinez if you wish to learn more about CRIEC’s mentoring, connecting and career path planning programs.