Victoria has always been the closest stop on the WHL schedule for Kelowna Rockets forward Kyle Topping.
The Salt Spring Island native skated off the ice Saturday with one goal, and plenty of amazing memories.
“It could be my last time playing here, depending on playoffs, but it’s been awesome.”
For Topping’s friends and family, the night marked a farewell of sorts as Topping is closing in on his final season of junior hockey.
“Mom and dad came over, aunts and uncles and all of my cousins. All my buddies that supported me through all the years are here, so it’s really special.”
Kyle’s mom, Kim Topping, watched every shift.
“[it was] a really lovely night. It was a great game, very entertaining. We had lots of friends and family here, so it was a really nice ending to his time playing in the WHL.”
The 20-year-old forward has played the last four seasons in Kelowna, but an ankle injury in November left Topping with a long recovery.
“It’s been a hard challenge, but…I just tried to work as much as I could to come back as soon as possible. I’m starting to get back to normal, and it’s exciting.”
Kim Topping concurs. “The injury happened here (in Victoria), so it’s very nice to see him come here and play very well tonight.”
With Topping back at full strength, he’ll look to wrap up his junior career in style. But mom’s just happy she got one last chance to see her boy hit the ice on Vancouver Island.
“To see him play here….It’s always a welcoming arena because of so many memories we have here.”