Bellemare playing with a heavy heart after his mother’s passing

TAMPA BAY, FL – When a young Pierre-Edouard Bellemare started playing ice hockey, he didn’t have a bag filled with brand new equipment. He wasn’t shooting pucks with the latest, state of the art stick. For much of his childhood, he grew up playing the game with a third-string pair of skates that were so small his feet would curl up inside the boots.

But without those skates, Bellemare probably wouldn’t be playing in the NHL. And without the relentless hard work and dedication from his single mother, Frederique, he probably never would have had those skates to begin with.

“My mom’s involvement was huge,” said Bellemare. “We started playing hockey right around the time my father decided he wasn’t going to show up anymore. Once we decided to start skating, it became really clear that, because of our financial situation, we didn’t have the money for it. But my mom always found solutions.”

Bellemare started playing hockey when he was six and a half years old, along with his brother Geoffroy-Alexis, who was 10 at the time. Their mother did whatever was necessary to allow her two sons to play hockey, even while raising three daughters as well. But it wasn’t about the money for Frederique. She just wanted her boys to obey one life lesson both on and off the ice – always give 110%.