Volume 12 Week 5

Thursday, April 17


Updated March 14

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(Posted 10 p.m., Dec. 16)
Orléans hockey mom on top of the world after son makes NHL debut

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans own Cody Ceci has successfully made the climb from Cumberland minor hockey product to NHL defenceman after being called up by the Ottawa Senators from Binghamton last Thursday. File photo

Karen Sylvester-Ceci is living every hockey mom's dream. Not only has her son Cody been called up to play for the Ottawa Senators, his first three games have all been at home which means she and the rest of the Ceci clan have had front row seats to see him realize his NHL dream.

"It's been crazy. Especially the first game against Buffalo. I had to go straight from work to the Canadian Tire Centre," said Karen, who found out that her 19-year-old son would be making his NHL debut last Thursday when he called her during the drive up from Binghamton.

"I was so nervous and excited for him. I couldn't concentrate at work and I was trying to finish a project for a deadline."

Cody had plenty of supporters at the game. His sister was given a pair of tickets for her and her boyfriend by one of the dentists where she works. Karen and Cody's father Peri used the pair of tickets every player gets for a home game, and Cody bought three extra tickets for his younger brother and both of his grandmothers. His girlfriend and his girlfriend's mother were also at the game.

Karen and the rest of Cody's extended family went to the game expecting see him to play maybe three or four minutes. Imagine their excitement when he came out to play with Sens' veteran Chris Phillips on the second shift of the game. He would end up playing over 20 minutes while seeing time on both the power play and the penalty kill. He got one shot on net and ended up with a +2.

"I was only expecting him to play a couple of shifts, but it was non-stop. I was so nervous I thought I was going to pass out," says Karen.

The entire gang went out for dinner after the game and Cody told them little snippets about the experience.

"He said that at one point he was skating behind (Bobby) Ryan and he was trying to remember what Ryan's nickname was and he couldn't remember so he just kept repeating his first name, 'Hey, Bobby. Hey, Bobby.'," said Karen.

Cody has remained up with the Senators for their game against the Kings on Saturday, which they lost, and tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues. He's received high praise for his play from both Sens' head coach Paul MacLean and GM Bryan Murray.

While he's up with the club he's been staying at a hotel near the CTC, but he spent Sunday afternoon with his family at their Orléans home and enjoyed a home-cooked meal before watching the finale of Survivor with his siblings.

Prior to getting called up, Cody was the B-Sens leading defenceman and was third on the team in scoring.

No one knows for sure how long Cody will stay up with the Sens. What is certain, however, is that the Cecis are enjoying every second he's with the club. And when the time comes for him to be sent back down to Binghamton, the rest of the Cecis will go back to making the four hour drive to watch him play every weekend and patiently wait for the day when he is called up for good.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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