Countless times Dante Fabbro’s and Tyson Jost’s families sat huddled up around the TV watching the IIHF World Junior Championship.
This year that tradition all changes.
Instead of sitting on the couch cheering, the former Penticton Vees teammates parents will be in the crowd. As for Jost and Fabbro, they are hitting the ice with the Maple Leaf on their chest.
“It was definitely a special moment to share with my family and Tyson (Jost),” said Fabbro.
Fabbro’s mom cried when she got the news from her son that he made the squad — picking up their first win on the opening night of the tournament on Monday, 5-3 over Russia. Dad, Stephen Fabbro, is equally as proud.
“I think it’s so awesome. Tyson and Dante, they have travelled a different road from a lot of other kids,” said Stephen. “All the naysayers saying that they weren’t going to make Team Canada. It’s pretty impressive for those guys. It’s such a select few kids that make those teams. We’re just excited about it. Whatever role he has to play on it, it is what it is right. We’re very, very happy he’s having this opportunity with Hockey Canada.”
Stephen said it is also neat that his son is joined by his childhood friend Mathew Barzal, who grew up in Coquitlam with him. Barzal was drafted by the New York Islanders in 2015. Stephen said it’s a nice little reunion for Dante with Barzal and Jost, two of his best friends.
Dante’s family made the trip to Toronto on Christmas Day. They plan to spend 10 days there. Dante said he is glad to have his family with him, but maintains its about the team and winning hockey games. Stephen said people probably watch hockey a bit differently when their kid is involved.
“It’s just exciting. It’s our favourite time, we’re kind of hockey nuts in our family,” he said. “It’s a special time for us watching the world juniors. It’s extra special when your son is playing. We’re excited about it.”
Jost got straight to business in Canada’s first game. Just 3:11 seconds in he scored the team’s first goal. A beautiful pass turned into a even more beautiful backhander to the top corner of the net. Something he no doubt had played in his mind a million times over growing up watching the tournament with his own family.
Read more: Former BCHL player nets goal in Canada’s win
When asked about his favourite World Juniors memory, Jost said he has many.
“I remember the one (Jordan) Eberle goal that he had there with (just under six seconds left). He had the poise to bring it to his backhand and put it in the empty net,” said Jost. “That is something that definitely sticks into my mind.”
Jost will also have his family there to watch him play for Canada.
“It will be nice to have them in the crowd. I’m excited for them to be able to experience it with me,” said Jost.
Canada played Slovakia on Tuesday, Latvia on Dec. 29 and will finish the preliminary round against the USA on Dec. 31. Semi-finals will be played on jan. 4 and quarter-finals begin on Jan. 2. The medal games will be played on Jan. 5.