Watching Son Compete At Nationals A Proud Moment For Pop

Whenever the Mid-Fairfield Rangers are playing, you can always find Charlie Shaffer in his usual spot behind the opposition’s goal. It’s the best place for him to watch his son, of the same name, skate as a member of the Stamford, Conn., team.

Such was the case in late March as Shaffer positioned himself along the glass at the Amherst Center in Upstate New York.

But this was no ordinary game. This was his son’s first game competing at the Toyota-USA Hockey National Championships in the 14 & Under Tier I division.

It was the culmination of a dream and the crowning jewel to a long hockey season. And for now, Shaffer was happy just to take it all in.

“All of these teams involved have been working all year to get here. Our team began training in the summer and playing in September, and seven months later here we are in Amherst, N.Y.,” Shaffer said.

“This is what we wanted to do. To be here with the best kids in the country is exc

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iting for everyone from the players to the coaches to the parents.”

Shaffer admitted that while punching a team’s ticket to Nationals is tough, booking a ticket for the family to be there is not without its challenges.

“You hoped you would make it to the Nationals, but you didn’t want to jinx it, so you didn’t plan too much,” he said.

“In our case, I made the trip with my son. The rest of the family [his wife and two other children who are involved in lacrosse] is coming up for the second day of the tournament. It’s just how things worked out.”

Thanks to the advances in technology, those who can’t make the trip can still feel like they’re part of the experience even though they’re hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away.

“The technology that they now have is really great," Shaffer said of the live streaming on FASTHockey.

“I know that my 73-year-old dad couldn’t have been happier than to be watching his grandson play in a hockey game in New York State from his home in Atlanta.”

For Shaffer, being there at the rink watching his son compete at Nationals is just as special.

“Being able to get here meant everything to these kids and their families,” he said. “We had heard so much about the Nationals and the buildup was tremendous. It has lived up to its reputation. It was a blast.”


Randy Schultz is the publisher/managing editor for N.Y. Hockey Online Magazine.


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