Hudson Mutimer’s life was cut short following a courageous battle with cancer. On the weekend of October 28-30, the hockey community honoured his life by hosting the inaugural Hudson Mutimer Memorial Tournament for U13 hockey teams. The team that Hudson would have played with this season rallied around his memory and skated away victorious, a testament to how the youth was cherished, not only in hockey circles but in the community at large.
“For Hudson, he just loved the sport,” says his mom, Haley Mutimer. “He mostly loved the camaraderie in the change room and hanging out with his friends and joking around. He was blessed to have wonderful coaches throughout his hockey career. Throughout Hudson’s cancer treatments and everything he went through, they always made him included.”
Like any child who grows up in a hockey town and who grows up with the sport, he found it an outlet to connect with people. There were times when his treatment and the limitations that came with his illness kept him off the ice. But he was never outside the hockey community as waves of support from teammates, parents and friends continued. That inclusion and sense of community was at the heart of Hudson’s love of the sport.
“He never complained,” Haley says. “It didn’t matter whether they won or lost the game, he was just always grateful to be a part of the team. He always remained having a positive attitude and gave 110 percent effort every time he set foot on that ice.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Trevor Baert, who coached Hudson in the previous year. Baert is one of the coaches Haley credits for standing behind Hudson and creating a positive experience for the young skater.
“He was a hard working kid who never backed down from anything and was always 100 percent going,” Baert says. “He loved the game, came to the rink all the time, played his heart out, went in the corners. He loved playing hockey.”
Baert says that hard work was consistently evident, and his attitude rubbed off on the other players. His positive energy motivated the other players, so the kids naturally gravitated towards Hudson both on and off the ice.
Baert brought forward the idea of renaming the U13AA tournament as the Hudson Mutimer Memorial Tournament and the Humboldt Minor Hockey Board immediately embraced the idea. The team took top place in the tournament, an appropriate tribute to the young man who had been part of their ranks.
“We won the championship, so he was watching over us, definitely giving us that motivation to win,” says Baert.
“I heard a lot of the players say they were playing for Hudson all weekend,” Haley Mutimer recalls. “I know Hudson would have been rooting them along throughout their journey.”
The Mutimers were happy about the renaming of the tournament. In fact all U13 teams notched victories this past weekend, more evidence that the boys had one of their own watching over them.